In a testament to the level of parity in the league this season, four of five home-and-home series in the WSHL last weekend ended up being split, with the only exception being Ogden taking both games over Utah and the second game was a 2-1 final.
Long Beach Bombers @ Fresno Monsters
The Long Beach Bombers took the first two games of this series in Fresno, but the Monsters avoided the sweep with a big win on Sunday.
Long Beach 7, Fresno 4 – The series started on Thursday and a five-minute power play early in the second period gave Fresno an opportunity to take control of the game. It took the Monsters no time at all to score. They won the faceoff worked the puck back back to the point, put it on net, and a scramble ensued for the rebound. Petr Philoppov eventually got a stick on it and backhanded it past a prone Long Beach goalie, Dominic Bosetti (16 saves) to tie the game, 2-2
The power play continued and the Monsters managed to score again to take a 3-2 lead. Artyom Shura did a good job to keep the puck in at the blue line, evade a checker, and skate it to the slot where he slid the puck over to Deakan Fielder. Fielder wristed a shot on net and Rory Scott tipped it as it went past.
But, once play returned to five-on-five, the Bombers ripped off the next five goals – three more by the end of the second period to take a 5-3 lead, then two more in the third to extend their lead to four goals.
Artem Korolev notched four points (2-2-4) for Long Beach and Tomas Urbanec also added a pair of goals.
Martin Dlugolinsky scored twice for Fresno.
Long Beach 4, Fresno 3 – The Bombers opened up a 3-0 lead in Friday’s game, only to see the Monsters come back to tie it, but it was Korolev again coming through for Long Beach, scoring the winning goal at 7:31 of the third period.
The Bombers, backstopped by Matthew Genter (21 saves) protected the one-goal lead for the final 12:29 on the road to secure the regulation win and three points.
Nikita Garin scored two goals late in the second period to complete the Fresno comeback from a three-goal deficit, but they were not able to translate that into any points in the standings.
Max Karlenzig made 50 saves in the game for the Monsters, stopping 22 of 23 shots in the first period alone to prevent Long Beach from opening up a big lead early and keeping Fresno in the game.
Fresno 4, Long Beach 2 – Fresno salvaged three points from the series by winning, 4-2, on Saturday behind two goals apiece from Philoppov and Dustin Truex.
Diego Gluck got the Bombers within a goal with 12:39 left in regulation, but Karlenzig continued his strong play in the Fresno net, stopping 28 of 30 shots, and putting a damper on any Long Beach comeback attempts.
Bosetti made 24 saves for the Bombers.
Northern Colorado Eagles @ Oklahoma City Blazers
After leaving the Mountain Division for the Mid-Western, the Northern Colorado Eagles must feel like they jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire after getting swept for the second straight week of intra-division play.
Oklahoma City 2, Northern Colorado 1 – The Henrik Overvall scored 3:40 into the second period to give the Oklahoma City Blazers a 2-1 lead over the visiting Northern Colorado Eagles and the new Mid-Western Division rivals battled for the next 36:20 without another goal being scored.
Blazers veteran netminder Bobby Cloutier stopped 25 of 26 shots to secure the 2-1 win for OKC, besting his counterpart, the Eagles’ Marshall Murphy, who made 27 saves.
OKC’s Vitali Mikhailov and NoCo’s Cameron Braun traded first period goals.
Oklahoma City 4, Northern Colorado 2 – The Blazers again doubled-up the Eagles on Saturday, this time by a score of 4-2.
Overvall and Tobias Thorner tallied first period goals and OKC never relinquished the lead.
Cloutier stopped 29 of 31 shots to secure the win. Northern Colorado goaltender Mitchell Robinson made 23 saves.
Darrian White and Bradley Green scored the Eagles’ goals.
Oklahoma City 6, Northern Colorado 1 – The Blazers completed the sweep in convincing fashion on Sunday, building a 4-0 lead in the first period and cruising to a 6-1 win.
Thorner scored the first and last goals of the game for the Blazers and Xavier Garneau stopped 24 of 25 shots, losing his shutout when NoCo’s Nikita Sheberov scored 27 seconds into the third period.
Ogden Mustangs vs. Utah Outliers (home-and-home)
Ogden took both ends of a home-and-home series with Utah, extending their lead over the Outliers at the top of the Mountain Division standings to nine points in the process.
Ogden 6, Utah 2 – Lukas Kucera (2-1-3) and Rhett Rampinelli (0-3-3) led the Mustangs to a 6-2 win over the Utah Outliers in Ogden Friday night.
Kucera’s first goal of the game gave the Mustangs a 2-0 lead, which they carried into the first intermission. Utah’s Jan Dvorak put Ogden on the board 45 seconds into the second period, but the Outliers did not manage to mount a further comeback.
Kucera scored again to make it 3-1 Ogden and they added another before the end of the period to open up a three-goal lead at the second intermission.
Utah’s Oscar Wahlgren made 41 saves while Artur Ogandzhanyan stopped 28 of 30 for Ogden.
Ogden 2, Utah 1 – All of the scoring in Saturday’s game in West Valley City happened in the first 10:13 of the game. The visiting Mustangs scored at 6:36 and 8:47 with Bryson Bartell and Samuel Sabos lighting the lamp.
Ryley Bast answered for the Outliers mid-way through the period to cut Ogden’s lead to 2-1, but the score would not change for the final 49:47 of the game. Ogandzhanyan made 24 saves, stopping all 19 shots he faced over the final two periods, to preserve a 2-1 Ogden win.
Wahlgren gave up a pair early in the game, but stopped all 18 shots he faced over the final two periods, finishing the game with 26 saves.
Cheyenne Stampede @ Casper Bobcats
The Casper Bobcats picked up their first three wins of the season, taking all three close games in their series with the visiting Cheyenne Stampede.
Casper 5, Cheyenne 2 – Jeremy Velazquez scored in the first minute of Friday’s game to give the Cheyenne Stampede an early lead, but Casper worked their way back to post a 5-2 win behind a hat trick from Joel Rothman (3-1-4) and 22 saves from Ludwig Norqvist.
Rothman’s second and third goals of the game came about three minutes apart early in the third period and opened up a three-goal lead for Casper.
Velazquez also scored the second Stampede goal in the third period, but it was too little too late for Cheyenne, which got 34 saves from Juha Salmela.
Casper 4, Cheyenne 1 – Oscar Andersson scored a pair of goals 1:03 apart late in the first period to give Casper a 3-0 lead and they locked things down the rest of the way in front of Ludwig Nordqvist (40 saves) for a 4-1 win.
Brendan Carew (23 saves) came on in relief in the first period for Cheyenne.
Hakan Salt scored the Stampede goal late in the first period.
Casper 7, Cheyenne 6 – Casper held leads of 4-1 and 6-2 on home ice Sunday, but the Stampede kept battling back. They scored two times early into the third period to get within a goal, but Kayne Pasquet (15 saves) came on in relief and protected the lead for the final 14:20 of the game, securing a 7-6 regulation win for the Bobcats.
Seven different players scored goal for Casper, including Florian Seelman, who added four assists.
Bryan Watters scored a hat trick and picked up an assist for Cheyenne.
Meadow Lake Mustangs vs. Cold Lake Wings (home-and-home)
The Meadow Lake Mustangs and Cold Lake Wings split a pair of games with each team going into the other’s barn and winning in regulation.
Meadow Lake 4, Cold Lake 3 – There has probably never been a bigger win for a franchise in October. After getting blown out in a big way in their most recent contest, the Meadow Lake Mustangs went on the road and came up with a 4-3 win over the Cold Lake Wings.
It was a team effort by the ‘Stangs as four different players scored goals and two goaltenders saw action between the pipes.
Meadow Lake’s Justyn Noltcho-Clark scored midway through the second period to tie the game, 3-3, and the scoring slowed down at that point.
Zach Pederson notched the game-winner for Meadow Lake mid-way through the third period and Maximilian Gaudet (26 saves) made it stand up. Gaudet entered the game in place of starter Skylar Szocos (25 saves).
Skyler Hildebrand made 20 stops for the Wings, who’s goals came from Ilias Okemow, Tyler Deleeuw and Danny McLean.
Cold Lake 10, Meadow Lake 1 – Cold Lake bounced back with a road win of their own Saturday in Meadow Lake, beating the Mustangs, 10-1.
Deleeuw scored a hat trick, Anson Smith had five points (2-3-5) while Joseph Iron scored the Meadow Lake goal.
West Sound Admirals @ Southern Oregon Spartans
The Northwest Division may only consist of four teams this year, but it is looking like it is going to be a tight four-team race. The West Sound Admirals went into Medford and won two of three games against the Southern Oregon Spartans, picking up their first two wins of the season and closing to within three points of the Spartans in the standings.
West Sound 7, Southern Oregon 3 – The West Sound Admirals went into Medford, OR and built a 3-0 first period lead on their way to an impressive 7-3 road win over the Spartans.
Vladislav Polyashov and Dmitrii Munirov each scored a pair of goals for the Admirals, who got 39 saves from Noah Bird.
Three different skaters scored for the Spartans, but Eric Vanderhoff collected an assist on all three tallies.
West Sound 4, Southern Oregon 3 – The Spartans scored the first three goals of Saturday’s game, but the Admirals scored the last four to win, 4-3.
Vanderhoff scored the first two goals of the game to spot the Spartans the early lead. He also picked up an assist in the game.
West Sound scored twice in the final 4:49 of the first period, then struck twice in a span of 58 seconds early in the second to take the lead.
The final 35:17 of game time went by without any scoring as West Sound’s Alex Olsson (19 saves) and Austin Johnson of Southern Oregon (28 saves) both closed the door.
West Sound out-shot Southern Oregon, 13-3, in a scoreless third period.
Southern Oregon 5, West Sound 3 – The Spartans came up with a big win on Sunday to avoid the sweep. Logan Emery put Southern Oregon on the board in the first three minutes of the game and the Spartans never trailed.
Vanderhoff (2-2-4) figured in four of the five goals and Jerimiah Clark made 32 saves for Southern Oregon.
Olsson made 32 saves for the Ads.
Wichita Jr. Thunder @ Steamboat Wranglers
It took overtime in the third game, but the Steamboat Wranglers swept the Wichita Jr. Thunder for their first three wins in their franchise’s WSHL history. The Wranglers earned eight of a possible nine points.
Steamboat 6, Wichita 2 – The Steamboat Wranglers picked up their first win as a WSHL franchise, defeating the Wichita Jr. Thunder, 6-2, on Friday night in what was the season opener for Wichita.
The Wranglers out-shot the Jr. Thunder, 14-12, in a scoreless first period, but scored three times in a span of 3:21 late in the second period to take a 4-1 lead.
All six Steamboat goals came from different players and Jorden Belley came up with a huge game in the Steamboat crease, stopping 38 of 40 shots.
Austin Tilton made 31 saves for Wichita.
Steamboat 4, Wichita 1 – Belley turned aside 26 of 27 shots and Dalton Eagle Bear scored twice in a 4-1 Steamboat win on Saturday.
Bronson Sudberry made 40 saves for the Jr. Thunder and Quinn O’Reilly broke the ice, scoring the Wichita goal 7:40 into the game.
Steamboat 7, Wichita 6 (OT) – The Wranglers scored as time expired at the end of overtime to complete the sweep with a 7-6 win. What seemed like a last-second shot on goal for Steamboat missed the net and the puck ricocheted into the corner, but Avery Albert did not stop playing. He chased the puck down in the corner and threw it at the Wichita net. Sudberry (47 saves) made the save on the severe-angle shot, but did not control the rebound, and Dalton Eagle Bear was right there to cash in.
Wichita was given a power play with 2:22 left in the overtime, and skated 4-on-3, but was not able to convert. A tripping call with :38 left negated the final 17 seconds of the power play.
Albert’s helper on the game-winning goal was his fourth of the game. Andrew Demorat also had a big game for the Wranglers, scoring three goals, and Steamboat goaltender Ian Young made 41 saves.
Carson Weingartner had two goals and an assist for Wichita.
With the OT loss, the Jr. Thunder picked up their first standings point of the season.
Seattle Totems vs. Bellingham Blazers (home-and-home)
(see above re: Northwest Division…) Bellingham and Seattle both protected their home ice, splitting a very tight home-and-home series.
Bellingham 6, Seattle 4– The Seattle Totems held a 2-1 lead over the Blazers after the first period in Bellingham on Friday night, but the home team rallied for a 6-4 win with two goals apiece from veterans Thomas Steven and Jamahl Eakett.
Kolter Pawlick stopped 24 of 26 shots over the final two periods and finished the game with 40 saves.
Benjamin Colvin made 29 saves for Seattle.
Seattle 3, Bellingham 2 – Seattle veteran Cam Gross scored to break a 2-2 tie with 2:17 left in the third period and the Totems earned the split with a 3-2 win on their home ice Saturday.
Seattle’s Wyatt Monear kicked out 17 of 19 shots while Avery Heath made 21 saves for Bellingham.
Hinton Wildcats vs. Edson Aeros (home-and-home)
Much like the Bellingham/Seattle match-up, Edson and Hinton split with each team winning in their own barn.
Edson 5, Hinton 3 – Friday night, in Edson, the Hinton Wildcats scored first, but came up short against the Aeros, 5-3, in a very evenly-played hockey game.
Sebestian Heden and Kevin Ludin each scored a pair of goals for the Aeros and Edson’s Liam Austin made 34 saves – including 21 on 23 shots over the final two frames.
Hinton’s Ryoto Inukai broke the ice 7:27 into the game and Dmitri Buttazzoni tallied goals for the Wildcats in both the second and third periods.
Samuel Gendron made 35 saves in the Wildcats crease.
Hinton 5, Edson 4 (OT) – Jacob Arseneault completed a hat trick by scoring 36 seconds into overtime to give the Wildcats a 5-4 win on Saturday.
Hinton took four one-goal leads in regulation and four times Edson came back to tie the score, but sudden-death is not as forgiving, and Edson did not get a chance to mount a fifth comeback.
Sebastian Heden scored twice and Ryland Strauss collected three assists for Edson and Brayden Gyurkovits made 27 saves for the Aeros.
Kyle Franceschini made 34 saves and earned the win for Hinton.
Ontario Avalanche vs. Valencia Flyers (home-and-home)
Valencia and Ontario played six competitive periods with each team posting road wins.
Valencia 5, Ontario 3 – The Flyers went into Ontario on Friday night and scored four times in the second period on their way to a 5-3 win. Goals from Dominik Kapp and Danylo Moroz in the first 2:51 of the second period broke a 1-1 tie and put the Flyers in the driver’s seat. It was the second goal of the night for Moroz.
Kapp also had two assists on the game and teammate Eimantas Norieka matched his 1-2-3 scoring line.
Mack Willy played a strong game for Valencia, turning aside 34 shots, while Connor Duffy made 39 saves for the Avs.
Ontario 7, Valencia 6 – Tristan Warr’s fourth goal of the game gave the Flyers a 6-5 lead with 6:26 left in the game, but the Avalanche kept their heads up. Dylan Hadfield tied it, and Joseph Aguirre scored the game-winner with 3:50 left in regulation to complete a 7-6 comeback win for the Avs.
Ontario held leads of 1-0, 2-1, 4-3 and 5-4 in the game. The Flyers came back four times, but were not able to pull it off a fifth time.
Ontario’s Kurt Yano (37 saves) picked up the win Valencia’s Mack Willy (35 saves).
Dominik Knapp (1-4-5) had a five-point game, assisting on all four of Warr’s goals.
Declan Curtis (2-2-4) and Jeremy Van Dyke scored two goals apiece for the Avs.
--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media