WSHL WEEKEND WRAP-UP; February 14-17, 2019

by Scott Harrington

Long Beach Bombers @ Ogden Mustangs

The teams with the top two winning percentages in the WSHL met over the weekend and the overall scoring for the series was tied, 7-7, but the Ogden Mustangs pulled out one-goal wins in each of the first two games to win the series and bring them one step closer to clinching the season points title.

Ogden 2, Long Beach 1 – Shane Gilbert scored with 1:03 left in the third period to give the Ogden Mustangs a 2-1 win over the Long Beach Bombers on Friday.

With just over a minute to go in the game and the Mustangs on a power play, there was a faceoff in the left circle in the Long Beach zone.  Gilbert won the draw cleanly to Kerry Kruzel and, as he played the puck back to John Shively at the blue line, Gilbert went to the net.

Domenic Bosetti blocked Shively’s shot, but Gilbert was in position to cash in on the rebound and score the game-winner for the Mustangs.

Bosetti stopped 54 of 56 shots in the game – including 26 of 26 in the second period – but did not get much goal support.

Not all of the Mustangs fans had found their seats at The Ice Sheet before Mustangs took a 1-0 lead.  Shively hit Rhett Rampinelli with a stretch pass that split a pair of Bombers defensemen and sent him in on a breakaway.  A subtle backhand between Bosetti’s pads gave Ogden the lead :37 into the contest but there would not be another goal until late in the second period.

Long Beach tied it up at the 13:42 mark of the middle frame when Artem Korolev held the puck on a two-on-one, using linemate Eric Lovstrand as a decoy, and put a sharp wrist shot inside the far post.

That would be the last puck to beat Ogden’s Artur Ogandzhanyan, however, as he and Bosetti held the fort for their respective teams for the next 25 minutes.

Artur Ogandzhanyan turned aside 27 of 28 in the Mustangs net to backstop Ogden to an impressive win.

Ogden 2, Long Beach 1 – Gilbert’s goal with 6:49 left in the game gave the Mustangs another 2-1 win on Saturday. 

The Bombers failed to cleanly collect a dump in by the Mustangs and Bryson Bartell got in on the forecheck to gain possession.  He worked his way down the left wall and around behind the Long Beach net.  His wraparound attempt was foiled by Bosetti (33 saves), but the puck squirted out into the slot where Gilbert rifled it home.

Ogden again jumped on the Bombers with an early goal as Ian Currie broke the ice exactly two minutes into the game.  

Filip Nordin scored the Long Beach goal midway through the first period.  It was the only one of 28 shots to elude Ogandzhanyan.

Long Beach 5, Ogden 3 – The Bombers made sure they proved they could beat the Mustangs before they left town, scoring the winning goal with 3:11 left in the third period of Sunday’s 5-3 Long Beach win.

Bombers defenseman Oleg Senko pinched in along the left wall to keep a puck in and sent a severe angle shot on the Ogden net.  Anthony Rodriguez was there in front to help it across the line for his fifth goal of the season.

The Mustangs were given a power play with 1:26 to go in the game, and pulled Ogandzhanyan so they could skate six-on-four, but the Bombers cleared the zone and Korolev was taken down with nobody between him and an empty net.  The Bombers were awarded a fifth goal by the referee.

The Bombers had scored three straight goals to go ahead 3-1 at the 6:54 mark of the second period, but Ogden came back to tie it.

Bosetti was sharp again making 29 saves – 12 in the third period – but this time he got the goal support he needed to pick up the “W”.


Seattle Totems @ Valencia Flyers

The Seattle Totems dropped the series opener Thursday but rallied to win the final two games, and the series, against the Flyers in Valencia.

Valencia 5, Seattle 3 – Valencia’s Danylo Moroz scored his second goal of the game to break a 3-3 tie with 5:23 left in the third period, and he completed a hat trick with :40 left to seal a 5-3 win for the Flyers over the Seattle Totems Thursday night.

With the game tied in crunch time, Dominik Knap barreled down the right wing, drawing a defenseman to him, then left a nice flat drop pass to Moroz, who was able to snap a shot inside the far post from the top of the right circle.

The Totems pressed for the tying goal but, in the final minute of the game, Seattle was unable to corral a Flyers dump-in and the Moroz was able to knock a loose puck into the net to put the game away.

Knap had a goal and two assists in the game and Flyers goalie Mack Willy made 37 saves – 18 of them in the third period.

Linus Eriksson scored a pair of goals for the Totems, who rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to tie before Moroz came up big for Valencia at the end.

Seattle 4, Valencia 2 – Knap gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the first period on Saturday, but the Totems scored the next three goals to go up by a pair and held on for a 4-2 win.

Seattle goalie Rustam Kulizade made 18 of his 36 saves in the first period, preventing Valencia from building a bigger lead early in the game.

Four different skaters scored for Seattle, including Kason Furukawa, who netted the game-winner at the 11:49 mark of the second period.

Willy made 26 saves for the Flyers.

Seattle 7, Valencia 4 – Tom Ignatovich and Linus Eriksson each scored twice to lead the Seattle Totems to a 7-4 win in Saturday’s series finale.

Kulizade was again between the pipes for Seattle and made 35 saves – 15 of them in the third period to stifle any plans Valencia had of making a comeback.

Gabriel Sbop scorde the winning goal and added a pair of assists for the Totems.

Nikita Garin scored twice for the Flyers – his first two in six games since being acquired from Fresno at the trade deadline.

Edson Aeros @ Meadow Lake Mustangs

Edson 8, Meadow Lake 6 – The Edson Aeros built a four-goal lead early in the game, saw the Meadow Lake Mustangs came back within a goal with 5:43 left in the game, and held on for an 8-6 road win on Friday.

Emil Johansson had a hat trick for Edson and Sebastian Heden (2-5-7) figured in seven of the eight Aeros goals.  Kevin Lundin also scored twice for the Aeros.

Tobie Opikokew and Peter Willier each had a pair of goals for the Mustangs.  It was Opikokew’s second of the game that got the Mustangs within a goal at 7-6 with 5:43 to go, finishing off a nifty setup from Willier.

Willier accepted a stretch pass and broke into the Edson zone. He looked like he was about to shoot but, as the goalie came out to cut down the angle and the defenseman came over to cut him off, he slid the puck over to Opikokew who hit an open 6x4 target.

Meadow Lake continued to press for the tying goal against the division’s top team, but Lundin’s second of the game gave the Aeros some breathing room with 2:35 to go in the contest.

On a two-on-one break, Lundin tried to feed a backhand pass across, but the puck bounced back to him and he was able to stuff it into the net as he fell to the ice.

Bronson Sudberry, making his Aeros debut after being acquired from the Wichita Jr. Thunder at the WSHL trade deadline, stopped all 12 Mustangs shots in the first period, but was lifted in the second.  Liam Austin entered the game and stopped 23 of 25 shots, making 16 saves in the third period to preserve the win.

Dallas Snipers @ Oklahoma City Blazers

The Oklahoma City Blazers made good on the first three of their seven games in hand on the El Paso Rhinos, sweeping the visiting Dallas Snipers and moving to within eight points of first place.  The Blazers, with four games still in hand on the Rhinos, hold their fate in their hands in terms of winning the Mid-Western Division.

Oklahoma City 4, Dallas 0 – Stephane Doering scored twice in the first period and Bobby Cloutier posted a 25-save shutout as the Oklahoma City Blazers started their weekend off with a 4-0 win over the Dallas Snipers on Friday.

Doering scored twice in the last 4:46 of the first period giving the Blazers a 3-0 lead at the first intermission.

Dallas netminder Alexander Aleshkin stopped 25 of 26 shots over the final two periods, stopping the bleeding and giving the Snipers a chance to stage a comeback, but they could not get to Cloutier.

Aleshkin finished the game with 37 saves.

Oklahoma City 6, Dallas 3 – Dallas led 2-1 after the first period Saturday, but the Blazers stormed back for a 6-3 win behind a hat trick by Jeremy Van Dyke.

Van Dyke scored a goal in each period, breaking the ice midway through the first period, putting the Blazers up 5-3 with a key insurance goal late in the second period, then adding the only goal of the third to complete his hat trick and close out the scoring.

Cloutier was back in the OKC crease coming off his shutout.  He recovered from allowing two first period goals to get the win, making 18 saves.

Arvidas Domeika scored twice for Dallas and Vitalii Mikhailov had four assists for OKC.

Oklahoma City 5, Dallas 1 – Oklahoma City closed out the sweep with a 5-1 win on Sunday.  Five different Blazers scored including Joseph Allegrini, who provided the game-winner.

Xavier Garneau kicked out 20 of 21 shots, allowing only Ben Salem’s second-period tally which made it a one-goal game at the time.

Late in the second period, with OKC up 2-1, the Blazers entered the Dallas zone with a delayed penalty coming up on the Snipers.  A bouncing puck found its’ way through a scramble of players in the middle of the slot and ended up on the stick of Jiri Egert, who was all alone in front of Aleshkin. He calmly deposited the puck between his pads to give Oklahoma City some breathing room.

Henrik Overvall scored 1:41 into the third period to give OKC a three-goal lead.  Tobias Thorner kept a puck in at the left point and fired a low shot on net that was blocked, but Overvall was right there to cash in on the rebound.

Mikhailov and Thorner each had a pair of assists for OKC.

Wichita Jr. Thunder @ Casper Bobcats

The Wichita Jr. Thunder played three more one-goal games, making it six in a row that they’ve been involved in, and won two of them.  That gives the Jr. Thunder five wins in their last six games as they try to go into the post-season on a high note.  With their win in the middle game of the series, the Casper Bobcats clinch the #3 seed for the Mountain Division playoffs.

Wichita 5, Casper 4 – The Casper Bobcats had leads of 2-1 and 4-3, but the Wichita Jr. Thunder came back for their fourth consecutive one-goal win, by a score of 5-4 on Friday.

Braeden Thomas scored two goals for Wichita, including one that tied the game at 4-4 at the 5:41 mark of the second period.

Ondrej Kollar’s goal with 4:45 left in the second period put Wichita up 5-4 and the two teams played scoreless hockey for the final 24:45.

A Casper defenseman attempted to clear the puck from deep in his zone by backhanding the puck over everybody and out.  He didn’t get enough on it and Kollar, manning the blue line, was able to glove the puck out of the air and onto his stick.  He made a quick deke around a Casper defender and snapped a crisp shot low to the stick side for what held up as the game-winning goal.

Elis Ericson made 25 saves for the Jr. Thunder while Henry Deenee stopped 38 pucks for the Bobcats

Casper 3, Wichita 2 – Wichita again found themselves in a one-goal game, but this time ended up on the wrong end in a 3-2 loss to Casper on Saturday.

The Jr. Thunder came back to tie after falling behind 1-0 and 2-1, but was unable to come up with the equalizer a third time against Bobcats goalie Ludwig Nordqvist (38 saves), who stopped all 18 shots he faced in the third period to preserve the win.

Steven Olik’s second goal of the game with just under five minutes to play was the game-winner.  With Casper on the power play, Trevor Roehrig held the puck on the left boards then hit Olik with a pass.  As he was cross-checked to the ice, Olik slapped the puck on net and it found its way in for the deciding goal.

Ericson made 34 saves for Wichita.

Wichita 4, Casper 3 – Casper led, 2-0, after the first period of Sunday’s rubber match, but the Jr. Thunder scored four goals in a span of 4:43 early in the second period and went on to win, 4-3.

Carson Weingartner’s goal at 7:11 of the second period closed out the scoring spree and held up as the game-winning goal.

Deenee made 43 saves for the Bobcats and, for 55:17 of the game could not be beaten.

Ericson, making his third start in as many days, gave up two in the first frame but stopped 20 of 21 shots over the final 40 minutes to pick up the win.

Joel Rothman scored twice for the Bobcats.

West Sound Admirals @ Southern Oregon Spartans

The Southern Oregon Spartans re-shaped their roster at the trading deadline and so far, so good, for the new-look lineup.  The Spartans scored 39 goals in a three-game sweep of the visiting West Sound Admirals.

Southern Oregon 8, West Sound 0 – The Southern Oregon Spartans scored six times in the third period to pull away for an 8-0 win over the West Sound Admirals on Friday.  Spartans goalie Kayden Pickles made 11 saves to record the shutout.

Axel Low and Logan Emery scored twice for Southern Oregon.

The Spartans out-shot the Admirals, 21-2, in the first period but Noah Bird (49 saves) kept the Spartans off the board.

Southern Oregon 12, West Sound 2 – The news faces continued to pile up point for the Spartans in a 12-2 win on Saturday.  Mitchell Rutledge had a hat trick and Vladislav Polyashov (2-3-5) and Artem Popov (2-1-3) had big nights against their former team.

Axel Low (1-4-5) also had a big night for the Spartans, who scored 11 of their 12 goal over the final two periods.

Josh Breznik went the distance between the pipes for the Admirals, making 28 of his 54 saves in the third period.

Southern Oregon 19, West Sound 3 – The Spartans flexed their newfound scoring punch again on Sunday, lighting the lamp 10 times in the third period of a 19-3 win.

Seven different Southern Oregon skaters bagged multiple goals including Logan Emery (4-2-6) and Hayden Moistner (3-1-4), who recorded hat tricks.

Low (2-5-7), Eric Vanderhoff (2-4-6) and Matej Valicek (1-5-6) also had big nights on the scoresheet.

Sarp Demirezen, who played 28 games for Southern Oregon last season without scoring a goal, hit the net twice for the Admirals.

Hinton Wildcats @ Cold Lake Wings

Cold Lake 4, Hinton 3 (OT) – Dylan Tonks scored his second goal of the game :28 into overtime and the Cold Lake Wings snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the visiting Hinton Wildcats Friday night.

Skyler Hildebrand made a few saves right off the bat in sudden death and a defenseman collected a loose puck on the end boards behind the Wings net and threw a pass right up the middle of the ice, splitting a pair of Wildcats and sending Tonks in alone on a breakaway.  He had plenty of time to make a sweeping forehand-backhand move and snap the puck into a wide-open net.

Tonks figured in all four goals, assisting on both of Ilias Okemow’s tallies.

The teams played through a scoreless third period to get to OT. 

Hildebrand made 35 of his 47 saves in the first two periods.  Samuel Gendron, meanwhile, played well in defeat for Hinton making 31 saves.

Northern Colorado Eagles @ Cheyenne Stampede

Northern Colorado 10, Cheyenne 1 – Jacob Elik and Banks Burkhart scored two goals apiece and Bryce Crowley stopped 27 of 28 shots in his WSHL debut as the Northern Colorado Eagles cruised to a 10-1 road win at Cheyenne on Friday.

Elik also had a pair of assists for a four-point game.  Zach Vanderwal and Jarret Marks each had a goal and four helpers.

Dawson Nelson put the Stampede on the board with 2:55 left in the game, ruining Crowley’s shutout bid.

Brendan Carew added to his league-leading save total with 68 more – 28 in the third period alone.

Steamboat Wranglers @ Northern Colorado Eagles

The Northern Colorado Eagles added six more points to their total over the weekend after claiming three in Cheyenne on Friday.  That allowed the Eagles to open up an 11-point lead over the Dallas Snipers for third place in the Mid-Western Division.  The Steamboat Wranglers, meanwhile, were mathematically eliminated in their attempt to catch third-place Casper in the Mountain Division race.

Northern Colorado 11, Steamboat 0 – The Eagles scored five times in each of the first two periods Saturday and Marshall Murphy posted a 31-save shutout as Northern Colorado won, 11-0.

Reese Tambellini scored three times and three Eagles scored a pair:  Banks Burkart, Zach Vanderwal and Jarret Marks.

Sean McMahon collected four assists.

Northern Colorado 10, Steamboat 3 – Marks (2-2-4) and Tyler Trombly scored two goals apiece to lead the Eagles to a 10-3 win on Sunday.

The game was close after 20 minutes, with Northern Colorado holding a narrow 3-2 lead, but the Eagles scored three unanswered goals in the second period to open up a comfortable lead.

Northern Colorado goaltender Bryce Crowley stopped 28 of 31 shots.

Hinton Wildcats @ Meadow Lake Mustangs

Meadow Lake 7, Hinton 4 – The visiting Hinton Wildcats carried a 4-3 lead into the third period, but the Meadow Lake Mustangs scored four unanswered goals in the final period for a 7-4 win.

Erik Ehrmantraut tied the game at the 4:24 mark of the third period and Ostin Fontaine tallied the game-winner with 7:59 to go in the game.

Ehrmantraut carried the puck from deep in the right corner up to the top of the right circle then, from a seemingly harmless position, turned and whipped the puck on net.  It found its way through to tie the game.

Tobie Opikokew cradled the puck along the right wall looking for options.  Fontaine cut hard to the net and Opikokew wired a cross-ice pass onto his tape as he skated into the left circle.  Fontaine had time and space to pick a corner and hit it to put the Mustangs ahead with just under eight minutes to go in the game.

Scott Danylak, who entered the Meadow Lake crease late in the second period, stopped all 10 of Hinton’s third-period shots to secure the victory for the home team.

With the Mustangs on the power play, Darwin Morin set up behind the net and, after surveying his options, sent the puck to Opikokew on the outside of the left circle.  From a severe angle e was able to put a wrist shot under the bar for an insurance goal.

Meadow Lake added an empty-netter for the 7-4 final.

Avery Heath went the distance in the Hinton net, making 32 of his 37 saves over the final 40 minutes of the game.

Shane Hounsell (2-3-5) figured in five of the seven Meadow Lake goals and Tobie Opikokew (2-2-4) also found the net twice for the Mustangs.

San Diego Sabers @ Ontario Avalanche

The Ontario Avalanche are making noise in the Western Division.  Their two wins over third-place San Diego give them a four-game point streak (3-0-0-1), that includes two wins and an OT loss against the Sabers, who they are chasing in the division standings.  With wins Saturday and Sunday, the Avalanche closed the gap to eight points.  Ontario holds a game in hand.  Claiming the third seed would mean avoiding a first-round playoff series.

Ontario 4, San Diego 2 – The San Diego Sabers had leads of 1-0 in the first period, and 2-1 in the second, but the Ontario Avalanche came back strong on home ice and posted a 4-2 come-from-behind win Saturday night.

Logan Corrigan gave the Avalanche the lead at the 9:06 mark of the third period and Charles Riordan scored an all-important insurance goal with 3:24 to play in the game.

With the game tied midway through the third period, San Diego missed two opportunities to clear the zone against a fierce Ontario forecheck.  Dylan Hadfield kept a puck in at the right point and threw it on net.  San Diego’s Marshall McKallip (34 saves) made the initial stop, but Corrigan was there to bang in the rebound and give the Avs their first lead of the game.

Ontario cycled the puck effectively in the San Diego end, maintaining possession until Riordan was able to use his backhand to stuff a wrap-around inside the post to the left of McKallip and put the game away.

Ontario received strong play between the pipes from Connor Duffy, who stopped 32 of 34 shots.

Ontario 8, San Diego 3 – Nicholas Abernathy scored four times in the third period to propel the Avalanche to an 8-3 win on Sunday.

The game went into the final frame tied, 3-3, but the Avalanche broke out for four goals in just 5:40 – with Abernathy notching a natural hat trick in 4:46.  Abernathy then scored an empty-netter in the final minute to make it four goals in a row off his stick to end the game.

Ontario defenseman Kai Maunola, playing just his second game for the team, collected three assists in the game.

David Baranek scored a pair for Ontario.

Edson Aeros @ Cold Lake Wings

Edson 6, Cold Lake 0 – The Aeros scored twice in each period and Liam Austin stopped 17 shots to post the shutout in a 6-0 Edson win at Cold Lake on Saturday.

Sebastian Heden (2-2-4) and Emil Johansson (2-2-4) each scored twice for the Aeros and Kevin Lundin collected three assists.

--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media