WSHL WEEKEND WRAP-UP; 11.29-12.2.18
El Paso Rhinos @ Oklahoma City Blazers
The Oklahoma City Blazers de-throned the El Paso Rhinos and assumed first place in the Mid-Western Division by winning two of three games between the two Thorne Cup contenders in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City 2, El Paso 1 – Bobby Cloutier allowed just one of 38 shots to elude him, backstopping the Oklahoma City Blazers to a 2-1 win over the El Paso Rhinos on Friday at Blazers Ice Center.
The Rhinos went on an early power play and took a 1-0 lead. Samuel Robinson, a right-hand shot, took a pass at the bottom of the right circle, pivoted, and snuck a quick shot inside the near post.
The Blazers tied it up later in the period, at 8:28, with what would be the first goal for a while. Michael Jensen accepted a pass in the high slot, toe-dragged a Rhinos defender, and snapped a wrist shot right under the bar over the left shoulder of El Paso netminder Nils Velm.
In a game that was as close to playoff intensity as you will find in the regular season, over 33 minutes of game time went by the game tied 1-1. Each team had to battle for scoring chances and, when they got them, Cloutier and Velm (20 saves) each refused to give anything up.
With just over five minutes remaining in regulation time, El Paso cleared the zone and the Blazers regrouped. Vitalii Mikhailov received a lead pass and carried the puck into the Rhinos end down the left wing one-on-four. He skated behind the El Paso net – first one way, then circling back the other – waiting for help to arrive and a play to develop. He held onto the puck as Henrik Overvall skated down the slot into prime scoring position. Mikhailov backhanded a centering pass on his tape and Overvall buried it for the game-winning goal.
Oklahoma City 3, El Paso 1 – The Blazers re-enforced their new first-place standings with a 3-1 win on Saturday that put them five points up on the Rhinos.
The teams again had to fight for every inch on the ice. There was only one goal through the first 40 minutes. It was 1-0 OKC through two periods on a Harri Kroll tally, but the Blazers put the Rhinos back on their heels when Kroll scored again just :14 into the third period.
Right off the opening faceoff the puck was dumped into the El Paso end and Velm directed the puck into the right corner. Stephane Doerring got in quickly on the forecheck for OKC and engaged three Rhinos in a puck battle. Doerring slid the puck out of the crowd to Tobias Thorner in the right circle and he bumped a little backhand pass to Kroll who was heading to the front of the net. Kroll held onto the puck and moved around Velm, tucking it into the far side and giving the Blazers a two-goal lead and some jump.
Cloutier was a wall again for the Blazers, stopping 26 of 27 shots. Jonas Burman was the only Rhino to beat Cloutier, with 5:06 left in the game.
An OKC defender mis-handled the puck behind Cloutier and Oscar Andersson retrieved the puck and got it to Burman at the side of the net and he stuffed it home before Cloutier could react. That added some intrigue to the final minutes, but Cloutier and the Blazers would not be denied.
Velm matched Cloutier’s 26 saves before being pulled for an extra attacker. Mikhailov added an empty-net goal as time expired to make for the 3-1 final.
El Paso 4, Oklahoma City 2 – Oklahoma City held a 2-1 lead late in the second period of Sunday’s game, but the Rhinos tied it up in the final minute of the period, then scored twice in the third for a 4-2 win that kept them within striking distance of first place in the Mid-Western Division.
In the final minute of the second period, a shot from the point was deflected wide of the OKC net. El Paso’s Adam Stalzer was first on the puck and he moved quickly to get it to the front of the net where John Erramousepe knocked it behind Blazers netminder Xavier Garneau (35 saves) to tie the game with :38 seconds left in the period.
Martin Dubsky gave El Paso their first lead of the game 9:01 into the third period. Early in a seven-minute power play for the Rhinos, Maximilian Kamper skated the puck into the neutral zone and hit Dubsky with a sharp pass as he cut across the Blazers blue line. He took a few strides, splitting a pair of OKC defenders, and snapped a shot high to Garneau’s stick side.
Dubsky set up Erramousepe for an insurance goal with 4:15 left and Velm (15 saves) and the Rhinos shut it down from there. Andersson hustled into the corner on the forecheck and engaged two Blazers in the corner. That allowed Dubsky to dig the puck out and thread a centering pass to Erramousepe who put the puck right under the bar over Garneau’s glove.
Dominic Loubert scored both of the El Paso goals.
West Sound Admirals vs. Seattle Totems (home-and-home-and-home)
The West Sound Admirals picked up two huge wins, and five of nine possible points, to move into a tie for third place in the Northwest Division.
Seattle 5, West Sound 1 – Micheal Shippee scored twice and Benjamin Colvin stopped 28 of 29 shots in Seattle’s 5-1 win over West Sound at Olympicview Arena.
West Sound’s Cory Kane scored just 23 seconds into the second period to tie the game, 1-1, and Noah Bird (30 saves) kept the Admirals in the game until the Totems broke it open late in the second period. Shippee and Cameron Waisman scored two minutes apart to give the Totems a three-goal lead going into the third.
West Sound 9, Seattle 6 – Friday’s game at Bremerton Ice Center had some momentum swings. The Totems jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to fall behind, 5-2. They staged a rally of their own to go up 6-5, but the Admirals came back on them again with the final four goals of the game for a 9-6 win.
Kane scored three goals, including the game-winner, for the Admirals, who also got big contributions from Harmen Vining (1-4-5), Vladislav Polyashov (2-2-4) and Tyler Perry (0-4-4).
Josh Breznik went the distance in the West Sound net, making 39 saves.
Gabrial Sbop had a hat trick for Seattle, scoring the first two goals of the game, and adding a third that tied the game, 5-5, midway through the second period.
Seattle’s Ethan Dupont scored with 2:35 left in the second period and the Totems led, 6-5, at the second intermission, but the third period was all Admirals. Kane scored two of their four goals in the final frame.
West Sound 6, Seattle 5 (OT) – Saturday’s rubber match back in Seattle went to overtime. West Sound’s Alec Johnson scored with 1:07 left in the third period to tie the game at five, and Dmitri Munirov’s second goal of the game won it for the Admirals 1:07 into sudden-death.
Down a goal with 1:59 left in regulation, West Sound called a timeout and pulled goaltender Alex Olsson. The Ads controlled the puck off a faceoff in the Seattle zone. Kane backhanded the puck on net from the right boards. Colvin (27 saves) made the stop, but didn’t control the rebound, and Johnson was there to bang it home and tie the game.
In the opening minute of three-on-three overtime, Munirov pestered a Seattle defenseman as he handled the puck just inside the Totems blue line. Munirov separated him from the puck and the Admirals maintained possession in the Seattle zone. The puck came back to Munirov high in the zone. He then worked a give-and-go with Harmen Vining, who sent the puck back to him in the high slot. Munirov took a few short steps before burying a wrist shot to give the Ads the win.
Dominik Cask scored twice for Seattle as the Totems came back from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits to take a 5-4 lead with 9:00 left in the third period.
West Sound’s Alex Olsson made 16 of his 29 saves in the second period.
San Diego Sabers @ Valencia Flyers
San Diego 4, Fresno 3 – The San Diego Sabers blew a three-goal lead, but Josef Kankovsky came through with the game-winner for the Sabers as they defeated the Valencia Flyers, 4-3.
On the power play, the Sabers worked the puck back to Karel Kankovsky at the point and he put a low shot on net that was blocked but, in the ensuing scramble, Josef pushed the puck into the net for what proved to be the game-winning goal with 8:17 left in the game.
Marshall McKillop (41 saves) and the Sabers protected the 4-3 lead for the final eight minutes plus.
Sean Devaney scored twice for San Diego and Mack Willy made 32 saves for the Flyers.
Utah Outliers @ Long Beach Bombers
The Utah Outliers went into Long Beach and earned a split with the Bombers, earning the 4-2 edge I points by forcing Thursday’s opener into overtime.
Long Beach 4, Utah 3 (OT) – The Utah Outliers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the Long Beach Bombers with 3:13 left in regulation, but Artem Korolev’s goal with :33 left in overtime made a winner out of Long Beach.
On the tying goal, Utah’s Anthony Masanotti forced a pass through a tight cluster of players that somehow made its way through to Jan Dvorak. He carried the puck into the Bombers zone, patiently held onto the puck as he cut to the middle of the ice, and beat Bombers goalie Domenic Bosetti with a wrist shot.
Late in the three-on-three overtime, Korolev and Erik Sillerstrom broke into the Utah zone. Sillerstrom took the puck hard to the net from the left of Outliers netminder Oscar Wahlgren, who denied Sillerstrom, then Korolev on the rebound. The puck went to the end boards to the right of Wahlgren where Korolev beat a Utah defender to the loose puck, then skated quickly behind the net to stuff home a quick wraparound and give Long Beach the win.
Shots were 4-4 in sudden-death
Utah kept the pressure on Bosetti throughout the game but he was equal to the task, making 45 saves.
Wahlgren made 34 saves for the Outliers, stopping 23 of 24 shots over the second and third period as the Outliers staged their comeback.
Utah 5, Long Beach 2 – The Outliers shook off the disappointment of Thursday’s loss and came back with a strong effort on Friday. Dvorak’s second goal of the game, :22 into the third period, broke a 2-2 tie and held up as the game-winner with Masanotti adding two more goals for a 5-2 Utah win.
Bosetti was again sharp in the Long Beach net, making 37 saves, but Wahlgren got the win, stopping 26 of 28.
On the winning goal, Matt Bartel beat a Bomber defenseman to a loose puck just inside the Long Beach blue line, lifting his stick, and charging in on a two-on-one with Dvorak who cut to the net for a tap-in after a perfect set up from Bartel.
Masanotti gave the Outliers a two-goal lead with 9:00 left, then added an empty-netter in the final minute.
Casper Bobcats @ Wichita Jr. Thunder
The Wichita Jr. Thunder dropped Friday’s series opener, but came back to win the next two games to win their inter-division series with the Casper Bobcats on their home ice.
Casper 5, Wichita 2 – Wichita scored twice in the third period to cut into a four-goal Casper lead, but Ludwig Nordqvist made 44 saves on 46 shots as Bobcats put an end to the rally and won, 5-2, on Friday.
Kevin Richter scored twice for Casper, breaking the ice at the 13:44 mark of the first period and closing out the scoring at 9:27 of the third, quelling the Jr. Thunder rally.
Tyler Inlow and Corbin Hanus scored and Elis Ericson made 39 saves for Wichita.
Wichita 4, Casper 3 – The Jr. Thunder bounced back on Saturday. Bronson Sudberry made 47 saves and Tyler Alverson’s goal with 3:07 left gave Wichita a 4-3 win.
Inlow scored to give Wichita leads of 1-0 and 3-1, but the Bobcats came back and tied both times. Richter scored in the final minute of the second period and Joel Rothman knotted the score at three at the 6:01 mark of the third.
Nordqvist entered the game late in the second period in relief of starter Kayne Pasquet, who made 24 saves. Nordqvist stopped 19 of 20 shots in the third period, allowing just Alverson’s game-winner.
Wichita 6, Casper 4 – Inlow (2-3-5) figured in five goals, and Sudberry made 40 saves, to lead the Jr. Thunder to a 6-4 win on Sunday.
Casper came back to tie after Wichita took leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but Inlow set up Quinn O’Reilly and Alverson to give the Jr. Thunder a two-goal lead and Casper was not able to tie it up a third time.
Daniel Silar scored twice for the Bobcats while O’Reilly had a goal and two assists and Felix Ryberg picked up three assists for Wichita.
Meadow Lake Mustangs vs. Cold Lake Wings (home-and-home)
The Meadow Lake Mustangs took both ends of a home-and-home series with the Cold Lake Wings to extend their winning streak to three games and put them alone in third place in the Provincial Division.
Meadow Lake 7, Cold Lake 4 – Shane Hounsell figured in six of seven Meadow Lake goals, scoring twice and picking up four assists, as the Mustangs defeated the Wings, 7-4, in Cold Lake on Friday evening.
Andrew Hawes scored his first of two goals for Meadow Lake on a power play just 33 seconds into the contest. The Wings rallied to take a 2-1 lead at the first intermission, but Hawes scored as time expired in the second to give the Mustangs a 4-3 lead heading into the third.
Darian Hartley scored at the 2:20 mark of the third period to tie the game, 4-4, but Meadow Lake ripped off three unanswered goals to put the game away. Hounsell set up Tylin Cameron at the 5:21 mark, then scored himself just 24 seconds later to give Meadow Lake a 6-4 lead.
Koby Lukehart made 53 saves in his first start for Cold Lake, but it wasn’t enough to keep the newfound offensive firepower of the Mustangs at bay.
Meadow Lake 11, Cold Lake 7 – There was some firewagon hockey in Meadow Lake Saturday night. Nigel Cardinal scored four times for the visiting Cold Lake Wings, but Shane Hounsell (3-2-5) and Andrew Hawes (2-4-6) led the Mustangs to an 11-7 win.
Cardinal also had an assist while Conor Frith had a goal and three assists for the Wings.
William Young also scored twice for Meadow Lake.
Both clubs went through two goaltenders in the game.
Northern Colorado Eagles @ Cheyenne Stampede
Northern Colorado 8, Cheyenne 1 – The Northern Colorado Eagles broke open a close game with four goals in the second period, and rolled to an 8-1 win over the Stampede Friday night in Cheyenne.
Samuel Pollock, Mark Revniaga and Mitchell Kellerman all scored twice for the Eagles and Mitchell Robinson turned aside 22 of 23 shots.
Dawson Nelson scored the Cheyenne goal early in the second period, getting the Stampede within a goal at 2-1, but the Eagles took over from there.
Brendan Carew made 52 saves for the Stamps.
Southern Oregon Spartans @ Bellingham Blazers
The Bellingham Blazers opened up an 11-point lead over the Seattle Totems by posting a three-game home sweep of the Southern Oregon Spartans.
Bellingham 5, Southern Oregon 2 – The visiting Southern Oregon Spartans rallied to within a goal late in the game, but Christoffer Fogelberg scored a key goal in a 5-2 win for the Bellingham Blazers.
Bellingham led, 3-0, with Thomas Steven scoring twice, but Miroslav Smid put the Spartans on the board, and Logan Emery made things interesting when he scored for Southern Oregon with 5:36 left in the third period.
The Spartans pressed for the equalizer, but Fogelberg’s goal with 2:39 left in the game took the wind out of their sails.
The starting goaltenders, Kolter Pawlick of Bellingham and Jerimiah Clark of Southern Oregon, each made 29 saves.
Bellingham 4, Southern Oregon 1 – The Blazers took a 3-0 lead in the first period Saturday and Edward Coffey made 28 saves to backstop Bellingham to a 4-1 win.
Jacob Mabaquiao, Jamahl Eakett and Timon Prexler scored first period goals for the Blazers.
Eric Vanderhoff ruined Coffey’s shutout bid with 2:49 left in the game.
Spartans netminder Austin Johnson made 34 saves, turning aside 25 of 26 shots over the final two periods.
Bellingham 9, Southern Oregon 2 – Eakett (3-2-5) notched a hat trick and Pawlick made 37 saves as the Blazers cruised to a 9-2 win on Sunday to complete the sweep.
Timon Prexler (1-4-5) and Timothy Prexler (1-3-4) were both very involved in the offense for Belligham, which had a 9-0 lead before Vanderhoff and Axel Low scored late goals for the Spartans to ruin Pawlick’s shutout bid.
Bellingham scored three times in a span of 2:50 early in the first period to take control of the game and never looked back.
Hinton Wildcats vs. Edson Aeros (home-and-home)
The top two teams in the Provincial Division of the WSHL split a home-and-home series with both teams winning in their own barn.
Edson 6, Hinton 4 – The Hinton Wildcats held a 3-2 lead late in the second period, but the Edson Aeros scored in the last minute of the second period to tie, and the first minute of the third period to take a lead that they would not surrender in an entertaining 6-4 comeback win for their fans.
Early in the second period, with the game tied 1-1, Hinton’s Brendan Auger scored a breakaway goal, pulling away from two defenders while carrying the puck and making a subtle forehand-backhand move to slide the puck under Liam Austin’s right pad as he slid across.
Edson’s Kevin Lundin scored just :14 into the third period to break a 3-3 tie and the Aeros extended their lead when a mis-played puck by Hinton goaltender Kyle Franceschini led to a shorthanded goal for the Aeros.
Hinton’s Shaun Peacock came down the right wing and buried a shot low to Austin’s stick side to get the Wildcats back within a goal, but Sebastian Heden notched an insurance tally for the Aeros with 7:30 left. The Wildcats broke up an Edson rush, and turned up ice, but Lundin stole the puck back before they cleared the zone and got it to Heden behind the defense, and he cashed in on a backhand to close out the scoring.
Both goaltenders were busy with Austin making 45 saves and Franceschini 40.
Hinton 4, Edson 3 – Emil Johansson’s third goal of the game got the Aeros within a goal at 4-3 with 12:35 left in the second period of Saturday’s game in Hinton, but Franceschini (33 saves) and the Wildcats held the fort the rest of the way to secure the win.
Hinton had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first period, but Johansson tied it up for the Aeros both times.
Noah Kwasny scored with :19 left and the Aeros went into the first intermission with a 3-2 lead.
Kwasny scored again 1:43 into the second period to make it 4-2 Edson. Johansson completed his hat trick at the 7:25 mark, but the Wildcats protected the one-goal lead for the final 32:35 of the game.
Austin made 47 saves for Edson, preventing Hinton from opening up a more comfortable lead. He stopped 35 of 36 shots over the final two periods.
Fresno Monsters @ Ontario Avalanche
Fresno went into Ontario Friday night and won, but on their return visit Sunday the Avalanche picked up the home win and with it, moved past Valencia into fourth place in the Western Division.
Fresno 3, Ontario 2 – The Fresno Monsters rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the second period to pick up a big road win, 3-2, over the Avalanche in Ontario Friday night.
The Avalanche led, 2-0, late in the second period when the Monsters scored two quick goals to tie the game up and give the team a lift heading into the locker room for the second intermission.
With the Monsters on the power play, a sloppy play behind their net resulted in a turnover and a point-blank shot that Karlenzig stopped. The play turned up ice quickly and a tic-tack-toe passing play set up Zack Turpin to put Fresno on the board with 2:43 left in the period. Martin Dlugolinsky played the puck down to Logan Domagala deep in the right corner and he transferred the puck right onto the doorstep where Turpin cashed in.
Ontario took a penalty with :51 left in the period and the Monsters converted again to even the score with Petr Philippov passing across the crease to Stanislav Danev on the back door.
About six minutes into the third period, Fresno worked the puck around the perimeter on the power play. A shot was tipped wide on the short side, but Ty Wright was the first one on the puck and made a quick centering pass to Danev who buried a quick one-timer and gave the Monsters their first lead.
Fresno goalie Max Karlenzig (28 saves) held the fort the rest of the way, stopping all 18 shots he faced over the final two periods.
Ontario’s Will McEwen made 32 saves.
Ontario 5, Fresno 3 – The Avalanche, who have struggled scoring goals this season, lit the lamp four times in the second period on their way to a 5-3 win on Sunday.
Five different played scored for Ontario, including Liam Massie, who accounted for the game-winner. Quinn Deshler assisted on four of the five Ontario goals.
Connor Duffy made 28 of his 33 saves through the first two periods for the Avs, keeping the Monsters off the board while Ontario built their lead. The Monsters beat Duffy once in each period.
Steamboat Wranglers @ Northern Colorado Eagles
Northern Colorado 9, Steamboat 1 – Jarrett Marks scored a hat trick and Mitchell Robinson stopped 24 of 25 shots to lead the Northern Colorado Eagles to a 9-1 home win over the Steamboat Wranglers on Saturday.
Mark Revniaga (2-3-5) and Zach Vanderwal (2-1-3) each scored twice for the Eagles.
Jordan Belley went the distance for the Wranglers, making 48 saves, including 21 in the third period.
Jeremy Landers, Jr. scored the Steamboat goal late in the first period.
Utah Outliers @ Ontario Avalanche
Utah 6, Ontario 1 – Anthony Masanotti scored 1:56 into the second period to break a 1-1 tie Sunday and give the Utah Outliers a lead they would not relinquish as they went on to a 6-1 win over the Avalanche in Ontario.
Masanotti added a second goal midway through the third period to close out the scoring.
Cameron Maycock scored the Ontario goal at 16:02 of the first period, tying the game at one.
Jack Walsh was not tested often, allowing just Maycock’s goal in 12 shots. Will McEwen made 40 saves for the Avs.
--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media