WSHL WEEKEND WRAP-UP; February 21-24, 2019

by Scott Harrington

Oklahoma City Blazers @ El Paso Rhinos

The El Paso Rhinos regained the upper hand in the race for the Mid-Western Division title by taking seven of nine possible points from the second-place Oklahoma City Blazers.  The Blazers still hold four games in hand, but the Rhinos are now up by 13 points.

El Paso 3, Oklahoma City 2 – Jonas Burman broke a 2-2 tie with 9:44 left in the third period and the El Paso Rhinos held on for a 3-2 win over the Oklahoma City Blazers in Friday’s wildly entertaining series opener.

The Blazers took a cross-checking call putting the Rhinos on the power play and the faceoff in the right circle in the OKC end.  The puck was pushed back to Donald Alchin at the right point and he played it down the wall to Burman who moved towards the Blazers net from the bottom of the right circle.  He wristed the puck off the inside of Bobby Cloutier’s left pad as he hugged the post for what proved to be the deciding goal.

Cloutier had a huge game, making 42 saves, as the Blazers came back to tie after El Paso took leads of 1-0 in the first period and 2-1 in the second.

Dillon Manchester and Oliwer Stensson also scored for El Paso while Stephane Doering and Jordan Sgro replied for the Blazers.

Richie Parent made 24 saves for the Rhinos.

El Paso 4, Oklahoma City 1 – Goals by Burman and Max Kamper 1:01 apart broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period and sparked the Rhinos to a 4-1 win on Saturday.

Once again, the winning goal would come on a Rhinos power play.  Kamper was dragged down as he rushed across the Blazers blue line with the puck, putting Oklahoma City a man down.

Alchin made a nice play to keep the puck in at the right point.  He then held off a Blazers defender while sending the puck to Stensson in the right circle for a one-timer.  Cloutier made the save, but the rebound went right to Kamper to banged it into a wide-open net from 10 feet out.

Just over a minute later, Burman was the next Rhino rewarded for his effort, getting in on the forecheck with Eimantas Noreika and forcing the Blazers to throw the puck up the left-wing boards blindly. Dominic Erdt kept the puck in and fired a shot that Cloutier blocked but the rebound kicked out to Burman who put it back into the net to give El Paso a two-goal lead.

Nils Velm kicked out 16 of 17 shots in the El Paso cage, stopping all nine OKC shots in the first period.

Oklahoma City 2, El Paso 1 (OT) – Fittingly, to close out a great series, Sunday’s series finale went into overtime with Blazers sniper Vitalii Mikhailov scoring his 44th goal of the season two minutes into the three-on-three sudden-death period to end the game.

Dominic Loubert made a nice play to get the puck out of the OKC zone up the left boards and into the neutral zone where Mikhailov picked it up and sped down the ice to the top of the left circle where he let loose a wrist shot just over Cloutier’s shoulder and under the bar.

The other goals in the game were scored by Oklahoma City’s Tobias Thorner in the first period and El Paso’s Eimantas Noreika in the second.

Velm (31 saves) and Cloutier (32 saves) were both sharp in their respective nets.

Ontario Avalanche @ Valencia Flyers

Ontario 6, Valencia 3 – The Ontario Avalanche built a 3-0 lead in the first period and went on to a 6-3 road win Thursday over the team chasing them in the Western Division, the Valencia Flyers.

Valencia showed some life as Mason Churpek scored :34 into the second period, but Daniel Baranek responded :29 later with his second goal of the game for Ontario and the Avs regained control.

Baranek added a pair of assists for a four-point night which was matched by David Baranek (1-3-4) and Logan Corrigan (1-3-4).

Danylo Moroz scored his 39th and 40th goals of the season in the third period as the Flyers put on a surge, but it was too little too late.  Dominik Knap assisted on all three Valencia goals.

Ontario goalie Connor Duffy stopped 20 of 21 shots through the first two periods and ended the game with 32 saves.


San Diego Sabers @ Valencia Flyers

Valencia 6, San Diego 5 (OT) – Danylo Moroz scored his second goal of the game early in the third period to tie the score, 5-5, then finished off a hat trick with the game-winner in sudden death as the Valencia Flyers came back for a 6-5 win over the San Diego Sabers.

Dominik Knap (2-4-6) figured in all six Valencia goals and, two minutes into overtime, he made a strong play skating from the right-wing half boards across the slot in the San Diego zone, holding onto the puck until the last possible second.  His shot against a sprawling (McKallip) did not make it into the net, but Moroz was there to help it across the line under a diving Sabers defender.

The three-goal performance gave Moroz 43 on the season.

The game was tied, 3-3, after a wild first period.  Valencia scored first, watched San Diego storm back to take a 3-1 lead, then rallied to tie it before the first intermission.

Mack Willy (28 saves) has had better performances in the Valencia crease this season, but he made the key saves when he needed to in the third period and OT.

Tyler Balok scored twice for San Diego.

Seattle Totems @ Southern Oregon Spartans

The Seattle Totems stayed within striking distance of first-place Bellingham by sweeping nine points from the Southern Oregon Spartans on the road.

Seattle 4, Southern Oregon 0 – Rustam Kulizade continues to look like a big in-season pickup for the Seattle Totems.  He made 15 of his 38 saves in the third period to help the Totes to a 4-0 road win over the Southern Oregon Spartans on Friday.

Four different Seattle skaters scored, including Temirlan Skindirov, who scored the game-winner 12:03 into the first period and also had an assist.

Kayden Pickles made 32 saves for the Spartans, stopping all 13 shots he faced in the second period to keep the Spartans close, before Seattle took a 3-0 lead on a Zach Thompson goal midway through the third.

Seattle 6, Southern Oregon 2 – Linus Eriksson (2-2-4) and Cameron Waisman (2-1-3) each scored twice and Kulizade stopped 29 of 31 shots in a 6-2 Totems win on Saturday.

Michele Vignoli Sanin put Southern Oregon on the board just :41 into the contest, but that seemed to wake Seattle up as the Totems accounted for the next six goals in succession.  Seattle scored two goals in each period.

Jeffrey Gula scored the other goal for the Spartans and Pickles made 40 saves for Southern Oregon.

Seattle 7, Southern Oregon 2 – It took a while for Seattle to get their offense going on Sunday, but they finished strong and won, 7-2, to complete their sweep.

Almost half the game – 28:46 – went by without any scoring, then three goals in a span of 2:18 put the Totems up 3-0.  The Spartans came back to within a goal with two quick strikes of their own, but the Seattle recovered, regaining a two-goal lead by the second intermission then tacking three more on in the third for a 7-2 win.

Cameron Waisman scored twice for Seattle while Kulizade made 35 saves on 37 shots for his third win in as many days.

Yuval Halpert and Vojtech Svoboda scored the Spartans goals.


Utah Outliers vs. Ogden Mustangs (home-and-home)

The Ogden Mustangs reinforced their position as the top team in the Mountain Division by sweeping their closest competition in the division, the Utah Outliers, and out-scoring them 9-2 in a home-and-home series.

Utah 1 @ Ogden 3 – The Ogden Mustangs scored once in each period and posted a 3-1 win over the Utah Outliers at The Ice Sheet Friday night.

Mustang goals came, in order, from Lukas Vacin, Bryson Bartell and 100-point scorer Rhett Rampinelli.

In what was largely a goaltending duel, Oscar Wahlgren made 32 saves for Utah while Ogden’s Artur Ogandzhanyan allowed just one of 32 shots to elude him.

Niklas Lejon scored with 2:24 left to put the Outliers on the board and ruin Ogandzhanyan’s shutout bid.

Ogden 6 @ Utah 1 – The two teams battled through scoreless hockey for the first 23:47 of Saturday’s game, but the Mustangs blew the game open with four goals in the second on their way to a 6-1 win.

Aidan McAleer scored twice and Matthew Thielemann had a goal and three assists.

Ogandzhanyan allowed just one on 18 shots to sneak past him, that by Utah’s Zak Albers late in the second period.


Meadow Lake Mustangs vs Cold Lake Wings (home-and-home)

The Meadow Lake Mustangs and Cold Lake Wings split a home-and-home series with each team winning on their home ice.

Meadow Lake 2 @ Cold Lake 11 – The Cold Lake Wings, who snapped a 12-game losing streak a week ago, looked even better this week, lighting the lamp 11 times in front of their fans in Friday night’s win.

Dylan Tonks continued his goal-scoring exploits for the Wings, scoring five times to give him 13 goals in his first seven WSHL games.

Conor Frith (2-4-6) and Riley Smith (1-4-5) did a great job setting Tonks up all night and Cold Lake netminder Skyler Hildebrand took care of things at the other end, stopping 24 of 26 shots.

Mustangs goals came from Erik Ehrmantraut and Shane Hounsell.

Cold Lake 3 @ Meadow Lake 6 – Shane Hounsell scored three goals and assisted on two more as the Mustangs came back with a 6-3 win on home ice Saturday.

The score was 2-1 Meadow Lake after two periods, but things opened up in the third and the two teams combined for six goals – four by the host Mustangs.

Tonks scored two more goals for the Wings.

Scott Danylak stopped 27 of 28 shots through the first two periods of the game and finished with 46 saves.

Casper Bobcats @ Cheyenne Stampede

The Cheyenne Stampede, playing their final three home games of the 2018-19 regular season, won two of three against the Casper Bobcats, to bring themselves within a single point of the Steamboat Wranglers in the Mountain Division standings.  It might prove to be too little too late for the Stamps as the Wranglers have three games in hand on them and Cheyenne finishes up their regular season with three games at Ogden.

Cheyenne 6, Casper 4 – Kody Kifer and Hakan Salt scored three goals apiece as the Cheyenne Stampede posted a critical 6-4 win over the visiting Casper Bobcats Friday night.

Brendan Carew came up with his latest gem between the pipes for the Stamps, facing 19 shots in the first period alone and kicking them all out.  He finished the night with 42 saves.

Casper did not stop working despite falling behind 3-0 and 5-2, getting goals from four different players.

Ludwig Nordqvist stopped 36 pucks for the Bobcats

Casper 4, Cheyenne 1 – Salt opened the scoring 4:10 into Saturday’s game, but Casper’s Daniel took over from there, scoring a natural hat trick to spark the team to a 4-1 win.

Corey Schultheis scored the equalizer later in the first period then Silar scored the next three Casper goals – one in each period – to hand the Stampede a critical loss in their pursuit of the Steamboat Wranglers in the Mountain Division standings.

Kayne Pasquet shut the door after allowing Salt’s ice-breaker, making 19 saves the rest of the way.  His counterpart Carew had another busy night, making 38 saves for the Stamps.   

Cheyenne 5, Casper 2 – Michael Eastman stopped 49 of 51 shots and Salt scored two goals as the Stampede won again, 5-2, on Sunday.

Dawson Nelson (1-3-4) figured in the final four Cheyenne goals and Gavin Miller (1-2-3) had a three-point game.

The Bobcats, who got goals from Alex Roth and Steven Olik, used three goaltenders in the game.


Ontario Avalanche @ Long Beach Bombers

Long Beach 5, Ontario 4 – The Ontario Avalanche have looked impressive in some wins lately and, Saturday night in Long Beach put together another impressive effort, leading the division-leading Bombers 4-2 midway through the third period.  Long Beach rallied for a 5-4 win, however.

Tomas Urbanec tied the game, 4-4, at the 11:28 mark of the third period and Filip Nordin notched the game-winner with 5:38 remaining in the game.

With Long Beach on the power play, Karlsson slid a nice flat pass from the left point to the right where Urbanec one-timed a blast through an Eric Sillerstrom screen to knot the score at four.

About six minutes later, Eric Lovstrand gained the zone with the puck, eluding one defender, then another, before sliding the puck back up the right wall to Nordin.  The Long Beach blue liner walked the blue line to the mid-point, then whistled a wrist shot that Ontario goalie Kurt Yano (32 saves) did not see.

Matthew Genter’s 29 saves were enough to pick up the win for Long Beach thanks to some late goal support.


West Sound Admirals vs. Bellingham Blazers (home-and-home)

The first-place Bellingham Blazers rolled to two convincing victories against the Northwest Division’s fourth-place team, and their likely division semifinal opponent, the West Sound Admirals.

West Sound 1 @ Bellingham 18 – Jamahl Eakett (4-4-8), Timothy Prexler (3-5-8) and Thomas Steven (3-1-4) led the charge as the Bellingham Blazers plowed their way to an 18-1 win over the visiting West Sound Admirals Friday night.

Robbie Eichelberger had five assists in the game for Bellingham and Kolter Pawlick stopped 24 of 25 shots.

Bellingham 12, West Sound 0 – A six-goal outburst paved the way to a 12-0 Bellingham win on Saturday. 

Aidan McNabb scored three goals while Eakett, Mikey Power and Steven all scored twice.

Jack Walsh needed to make 12 saves to post the shutout for the Blazers.


Hinton Wildcats vs. Edson Aeros (home-and-home)

The Hinton Wildcats put up a good fight, but the Edson Aeros took both ends of a home-and-home series between the top two teams in the Provincial Division, opening up a 32-point lead on Hinton in the process.

Edson 4, Hinton 2 – Brendan Auger’s second goal of the game got the Hinton Wildcats within a goal with 3:52 to go in the game, but the Edson Aeros added an empty-net goal in the final minute to preserve a 4-2 win in Edson on Friday night.

Bronson Sudberry, who struggled in his Edson debut last week, was sharp, stopping 38 of 40 shots.

Auger’s first goal gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead 3:46 after the opening puck drop, but Sebastian Heden tied it up before the end of the period with his 53rd goal of the season.

Edson took their first lead of the game with a second period goal by Caden Shwetz – the only goal of the frame.

Max Gaudet made 28 saves for Hinton.

Edson 7, Hinton 2 – Edson goaltender Liam Austin gave up a pair of goals in the first period, but stopped all 28 shots he faced over the final two periods, making 34 saves as the Aeros came back to win, 7-2.

Olle Berndtsson scored two goals, including the game-winner, to pace a balanced Edson attack.

The Aeros held a slim 3-2 advantage as late as the 8:01 mark of the third period when goals from Ryley Bast and Heden 1:17 apart game them some breathing room.  They added two more later in the period for the 7-2 final.

It was the 13th consecutive game in which Heden scored a goal.

Auger and Dalton Eagle Bear scored for Hinton.


Wichita Jr. Thunder @ Northern Colorado Eagles

The Wichita Jr. Thunder played their seventh straight one-goal game on Friday, winning it, before losing to the Northern Colorado Eagles on Saturday and Sunday.

Wichita 4, Northern Colorado 3 – Wichita scored three times in a span of 5:27 to come back and defeat the Northern Colorado Eagles in Greely Friday night, 4-3.

Jarret Marks’ second goal of the game got the Eagles within a goal with 3:51 remaining, but the hosts were unable to get the tying goal on Wichita netminder Robert Allen.  Allen was superb, making 56 saves on 59 shots, including 23 of 24 in the third period.

Northern Colorado 5, Wichita 1 – Five different Eagles scored, and Marshall Murphy stopped 20 of 21 shots, as Northern Colorado won 5-1 on Saturday.

Jacob Elik scored one of the Eagles goals and also added a pair of assists, including one on Brennan McFarland’s game-winner.

Tyler Inlow scored the Wichita goal in the second period and Elis Ericson made 42 saves for the Jr. Thunder.

North Colorado 11, Wichita 2 – The Eagles scored four times in each of the first two periods and Bryce Crowley stopped 28 of 30 shots in an 11-2 Northern Colorado win.

Mark Revniaga (3-2-5) notched a hat trick and Reese Tambellini (2-2-4), Tyler Trombly (2-2-4) and Eric Hildebrand all scored twice.

Wichita goals came from Inlow and Anton Frolin.


Long Beach Bombers @ Valencia Flyers

Valencia 5, Long Beach 4 – Valencia’s Danylo Moroz scored his 45th goal of the season in the final minute of the game to cap off a three-goal rally and give the Flyers an impressive 5-4 comeback in over the visiting Long Beach Bombers on Saturday.

Justin Poirier made a long, high dump-in from the neutral zone that hit a Long Beach defender and fell to the ice where Moroz could get to it first, giving him an opportunity to break in alone on Long Beach goaltender Josh Martinez (29 saves) and pick a spot on his stick side for a quick shot and the winning goal.

It was the second goal of the game for Moroz, who also had a pair of assists, while Poirier picked up his third assist of the game on the play.

The Bombers took a 4-2 lead into the final period but goals by Dominik Knap at 8:46 and Ashton Richardt at 12:13 tied it up.

Mack Willy made 32 saves for Valencia, including 18 saves on 19 shots over the final two periods.

Will Daigneault scored a pair of goals for the Bombers.


Long Beach Bombers @ Ontario Avalanche

Long Beach 2, Ontario 1 – Ontario scored first, but Long Beach responded with a pair of first-period goals and then protected a 2-1 lead for the final 42:36 of the game thanks to Domenic Bosetti, who stopped 18 of 19 shots.

Aleksei Vereshchagin made 34 saves for the Avalanche.

--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media