Weekend Preview 10.10.19

by WSHL Staff

Records are expressed W-L-OTW-OTL

Watch every game LIVE on Black Dog Hockey: https://www.bdehockey.com/home.php

Games on the Slate:

El Paso Rhinos (2-0-1-0) vs. Valencia Flyers (0-0-1-0) 

The El Paso Rhinos will travel to Southern California for a three game series against the Valencia Flyers. Both teams are coming off wins last weekend. The Rhinos successfully swept the Dallas Snipers in three games where as the Flyers only had one game on their schedule, which they won in overtime in San Diego.

Niklas Ormarker (2G-2A-4Pts.), Sam Sykes (2G-0A-2Pts.), Niklas Froden (0G-2A-2Pts.), and Mark Kurliandchyk (1g-1A-2Pts.) lead all Rhinos in scoring and will be ones to watch in this series.

Tristan Warr was a menace against San Diego but suffered an upper body injury to end the game and will be questionable to play against El Paso this weekend. Warr had one goal and one assist. Michael Onda, (2G-1A-3Pts.), Lucas Demsar (0G-2A-2Pts.), and Hunter Garant (1G-1A) also contributed with points and lead all Flyers.  

The Rhinos and Flyers played twice last season with the Rhinos winning both matches at the Ice Station—Valencia. El Paso won 4-1 and 5-1. Tristan Warr had a goal the first night for Valencia and Sam Sykes had one assist the next night for El Paso.

Wichita (0-3-0-0) vs. Pueblo Bulls (0-0-1-2)   

Both teams have endured a loss but the Bulls have already tasted victory and probably want more. Wichita had a less ideal start to the season as they were swept by Oklahoma City. The Bulls stole a road game in Dallas and had a bye weekend to recover and prepare for their home opener.

This will be the first time that the Bulls matchup against the 2017 Thorne Cup Champions. Wichita will need a win to avoid sinking any further this early in the season. Both Quinn O’Reilly (2G-2A-4Pts.) and new signee Michael Power (3G-1A-4Pts.) have jumped out to four points in three games.

Ondrej Blaha (4G-3A-7Pts.), Pueblo’s first registered leading scorer, had a hat-trick in their first series against Dallas. Blaha is the highest scoring player going into this series. The Bulls have only played Henry Denee in goal who held a .906 SV% through his first series.

Fresno Monsters (0-2-0-0) vs. Las Vegas Thunderbirds (2-0-0-0) 

  The series continues! We got a taste of what the Thunderbirds can do with an opening sweep of the returning Western Division Finalist, Fresno Monsters. Vegas hosted Fresno at Sobe Arena and had a strong showing with 5-1 and 5-2 wins. The two teams are looking at another two games in Las Vegas and won’t play again until Jan. 10 in Fresno.

Fresno’s special teams was able to get them on the board but they also conceded two short handed goals by Tomas Urbanec (2G-3A-5Pts.) Furthermore, shutting down Emil Svartbro (4G-2A-6Pts.) will be crucial. Svartbro had points in the first game and a hat-trick the second night. Two of his four total goals over the weekend occurred on the power play.

First year player, Narek Aleksanyan, had a goal in each game for Fresno while Zack Turpin had a goal as well.  

Cold Lake Hornets (0-2-0-0) vs. Meadow Lake Mustangs

The Cold Lake Hornets weren’t able to get past the Bombers last week and are going into this weekend in search of their first win. The Meadow Lake Mustangs will be opening the gates to their season being one of the few to have yet played. 

Anson Smith (1G-1A-2Pts.) and Cole Daniels (1G-0A-1Pt.) lead the team while Yauheni Lavrov, Spencer Tuffnell, and Riley Austin each have one assist.

This is the first time both these teams are facing off. Meadow Lake’s top scorers from last year, Ostin Fontaine and Shane Hounsell, may be familiar with the Hornet’s Colt Comstock, Anson Smith, Trey Beck, and Riley Austin who all played in the Provincial Division last season.

Ogden Mustangs (3-0-0-0) vs. Steamboat Wranglers    

(Photo by Tim Broussard, Ogden Mustangs)

The Wranglers and Mustangs know each other quite well, as they were both in the Mountain Division last year. The Wranglers will be commencing their 2019-2020 campaign while the Mustangs have three convincing wins under their belt over Ontario.

The Mustangs have displayed a similar high-powered offense already with newcomers Johan Zollner, Caleb Doleman, and Gleb Krivoshapkin finding multiple points in their first series.

Shane Gilbert (2G-6A-8Pts.) leads all Mustangs in scoring with Zöllner (2G-3A-5Pts.) placing second, and Oliver Wieringa (4G-1A-5Pts.) at third. A total of 17 players have points for Ogden.

The Mustangs won all 11 games versus Steamboat last year and never really had trouble finding success against a then first-year team. The Wranglers began last season dropping their first six games but this year their first six games are at home.   

Ontario Avalanche (0-3-0-0) vs. San Diego Sabers (0-0-0-1)

The San Diego Sabers will welcome the Ontario Avalanche for the first time in 2019-2020. The Avalanche have two more games than San Diego and although they are both coming off losses, they both have extra motivational factors. The Avalanche don’t want to lose four in a row and the Sabers don’t want to lose another game at home. The series will shift to Anaheim after the first game and it will be Ontario’s turn to defend home ice. San Diego leads the season series from last year, 6-4, with Ontario owning the greatest victory by margin, which was an 8-3 win on Feb. 17.

Former OKC Blazer, Caleb Travis (2G-0A-2Pts.), Cole Rorick (0G-2A-2Pts.), and Quinn Patenaude (0G-2A-2Pts.) lead the Sabers in scoring. Ontario only has three players with points in Randy Smith (2G-0A-2Pts.), Dylan Hadfield (0G-1A-1Pt.), and Charles Riordon (1G-0A-1Pt.).

Ontario’s goalies have seen a lot of shots with Jacob Okihara already having 62 saves and Aidan Harding making 53. Similarly, Brooks DiMarino, of the Valencia, has 52 saves thorough one game.  

Dallas Snipers (0-0-2-1) vs. Northern Colorado Eagles (2-1-0-0)  

(Photo by Michelle Holcomb, Dallas Snipers) 

Both teams have each played in a three game series and both won the series against their opponent. Dallas had a bye week to recover from three overtime games and the Northern Colorado Eagles are right back into the mix. Dallas will take to the road for the first time this season.

The Eagles are in the middle of a six game home stand to open their season so the Snipers will hope for success on the road. Northern Colorado’s scoring leaders include Jacob Elik (0G-4A-4Pts.), Jeremy Landers Jr. (1G-2A-3Pts.), and Liam Emery (2G-1A-3Pts.) all with at least three points. Ten more skaters have found points.

The Dallas Snipers also have about half their team with points but Alexsey Syrotenko (4G-2A-6Pts.) leads all skaters. Syrotenko is tied with Dmitri Khalin (3G-3A-6Pts.) leaving Bradley Richardson, Michael Fatta, Ilnur Madiarov as good secondary scorers.

The Eagles were almost perfect against the Snipers winning five of six games in 2018-2019 and twice scoring five goals or more.

Barrhead Bombers (2-0-0-0) vs. Hinton Timberwolves (1-1-0-0)   

After opening their first two games at home the Barrhead Bombers made light work of a Cold Lake Hornets team. Hinton proved that they shouldn’t be taken lightly as they defeated the Edson Aeros in convincing fashion in the back-end of their series. The narrative is shaping up for an exciting battle between these two Provincial Division sides.

Former Bellingham Blazer, Jamahl Eakett, is taking initiative in the scoring department as he leads the Timberwolves with two goals and three assists. Former Wildcat standout Brendan Auger is second in scoring with three goals and one assist. A more offensively sound Timberwolves team has the pieces to be a troubling adversary for the rest of the division.

Barrhead’s four top scorers have at least five points. Dmitro Kobylnyk (4G-3A-7Pts.), Serhii Poimanov (3G-3A-6Pts.), and Carter Zawortny (4G-2A-6Pts.) all had multiple points in their last series.

The Timberwolves will have a rubber match on Sunday against the Edson Aeros. 

Bellingham Blazers vs. Seattle Totems  

(Photo by Jon Bergman)

It's the rematch the Northwest Division wants to see as the NW Division Champions split a home-and-home against the Seattle Totems. As a reminder, the Totems and Blazers went toe-to-toe all year until the final two regular season games saw the Totems claim the No. 1 spot winning 7-3 on back-to-back nights. The division finals painted a different picture and the Totems weren't able to find the result they wanted to get into their first Thorne Cup. 

Seattle has the advantage in their regular season series winning eight times compared to Bellingham's four. The Totems managed 52 goals over the Blazer's 47 goals in that 12 game stretch with the home team winning seven games. The two Washington based teams are starting 2019-2020 on the same note as last year in that they will split a home-and-home series. 

The first game of the series will be at Olympicview Arena and the two-game swing will close out at Bellingham Sportsplex.   

Watch every game LIVE on Black Dog Hockey: https://www.bdehockey.com/home.php