WSHL WEEKEND WRAP-UP; January 10-13, 2019

by Scott Harrington

El Paso Rhinos @ Oklahoma City Blazers

In a series that can only whet the appetite for a potential playoff meeting down the road between these two teams, the El Paso Rhinos fended off the Oklahoma Blazers in a three-game series in OKC to hang on to first place in the Mid-Western Division.  The Rhinos won the series, five points to four, and now have a five-point edge on the Blazers for the top spot in the division – although OKC holds four games in hand.  The two teams will meet again in Texas February 22-24.

El Paso 5, Oklahoma City 2 – Vitalli Mikhailov got the Oklahoma City Blazers within a goal with 5:32 left in the game, but the El Paso Rhinos scored twice in the final 2:18 for a 5-2 win Friday night in Oklahoma City.

Although he wasn’t credited with an assist on the play, Tobias Thorner tied up two El Paso defenders along the left-wing boards deep in the Rhinos zone until Stephane Doering could sweep in curl towards the net, and his Mikhailov with a centering pass that he deposited to get the Blazers with a goal at 3-2.

An excellent individual effort from Dillon Manchester restored El Paso’s two-goal lead.  Manchester stripped the puck from an OKC puck carrier in the neutral zone, skated across the blue line and let go a long slap shot that missed the net to the glove side of Blazers goalie Xavier Garneau.  There was a big bounce off the end boards and, before Garneau could freeze the puck, Manchester charged the crease and poked the puck in on the short side.

El Paso’s Martin Dubsky scored his second goal of the game into an empty net from just outside the blue line to close out the scoring.

El Paso netminder Nils Velm and OKC’s Garneau each made 26 saves in the game, keeping the game scoreless for the first 18:11 until Maximilian Kamper put the Rhinos on the board.

Thorner scored the other goal for OKC.

Oklahoma City 2, El Paso 1 – Oklahoma City netminder Bobby Cloutier allowed just one of 43 shots to get past him as the Blazers defeated the Rhinos, 2-1, on Friday, successfully protecting a one-goal lead for the final 33:50 of the game.

Cloutier got the “W” over El Paso’s Nils Velm, who played a strong game in his own rite, making 23 saves on 25 shots.

El Paso took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Jacob Wickham at the 7:57 mark of the first period and OKC tied it up by the end of the period on a Hunter Dougherty tally.

6:50 into the second period, with the Blazers on the power play, Henrik Overvall bumped the puck up the wall to Spencer Harvey at the point and he sent a low shot on net that kicked out to Jordan Sgro at the far post and he quickly deposited the puck past Velm and a prone defenseman for what would turn out to be the game-winning goal.

Cloutier and Velm protected their respective nets perfectly the rest of the way.

El Paso 5, Oklahoma City 4 (SO) – El Paso came back from a 3-1 deficit to lead, 4-3, early in the third period Sunday only to see the Blazers force overtime, but the Rhinos eventually won the game in a shootout to edge OKC in the series.

With the game tied, 3-3, and the Rhinos on the power play, a Blazers defender tried to play the puck around the board behind the OKC net.  Dubsky stopped it from going around and the puck went to Nakita Garin, who circled back around behind the net and wristed one through Cloutier’s legs to give the Rhinos the lead.

The Blazers kept working and tied the game again with just under five minutes left.  Doering picked up a stretch pass at the center red line and skated down the left wing into the El Paso zone.  He tired to split a pair of defenders and was cut off, but the puck was knocked free in the left circle.  Mikhailov was the first one on it and snapped it home to even the score.

El Paso out-shot Oklahoma City, 6-2, during the scoreless overtime period and the game proceeded to a shootout.

Velm, who made 20 saves in the game, stopped all four Blazers skaters in the shootout while the first and third shooters cashed in for the Rhinos.

Jonas Burman was the first shooter for either side and put a quick shot along the ice past Cloutier’s stick side.  In the third round Dubsky skated in from an angle, cutting through the left circle, and beating Cloutier low stick side.

Ontario Avalanche @ Fresno Monsters

The Fresno Monsters swept the Ontario Avalanche in a three-game series at Selland Arena to stay within two points of Long Beach in the Western Division. 

Fresno 5, Ontario 2 – Petr Philippov scored a hat trick – one goal in each period – to lead the Fresno Monsters to a 5-2 win over the Ontario Avalanche at Selland Arena on Thursday.

With the game tied 2-2 in the second period, just after killing off an Ontario power play, Stanislav Danaev poked a loose puck ahead to Jarred Hicks who skated in all alone and scored with a quick shot low stick side, giving Fresno the lead back at 3-2.  It held up as the game-winning goal thanks to Tyler Mathews, who allowed just two goals on 31 shots in the Monsters crease.

Jeremy Van Dyke scored both Ontario goals, including the ice-breaker just 1:08 after the opening faceoff

Will McEwen made 34 saves for the Avalanche.

Fresno 7, Ontario 3 – Martin Dlugolinsky and Joel Brotzge each scored twice during a five-goal second period for Fresno, propelling them to a 7-3 win on Friday.

Ontario scored first again, and led 1-0 after one period on a Justin Davis goal, but the Monsters scored five times in the second period on Avalanche goal Connor Duffy (24 saves), who had stopped all 14 shots he faced in the first period.

Mathews was between the pipes again for the Monsters, making 15 of his 31 saves in the third period to stifle any chances Ontario had to mount a comeback.

Fresno 5, Ontario 3 – Cole Beckman’s goal two minutes into the second period gave the Monsters a 4-0 lead and it stood as the game-winner as Fresno held on for a 5-3 win over the Avalanche on Saturday night, completing the sweep.

Goals by Brett Ruiz and Andrew Olson in the last 4:11 of the game cut a four-goal Fresno lead in half, but it was too little, too late.

Jeremy Velazquez scored two goals and assisted on another for the Monsters.

Gabriel Cognac kicked out all 12 shots Ontario sent his way in the first period as Fresno built their lead.  He ended the game with 23 saves.

Kurt Yano made 30 saves for Ontario.

Valencia Flyers @ Long Beach Bombers

Long Beach 7, Valencia 3 – Gennady Malashenko sparked the Long Beach Bombers to a 7-3 win over the Valencia Flyers Thursday night, scoring three goals and assisting on two others.

Malashenko got to work right from the drop of the puck, scoring :36 into the game.  He scored again about eight minutes later, and completed his hat trick in the third period.

The seats weren’t even warm, as they say, when Malashenko and Artem Korolev swarmed the Valencia net.  Malashenko ended the scramble with a spin-and-shoot move to put the Bombers on the board.

Tomas Uranec scored twice and Erik Sillerstrom collected three assists for the Bombers, and Long Beach netminder Matthew Genter made 21 saves.

Two of the three Flyers goals came in the final 3:36 of the game off the sticks of Justin Poirier and Danylo Morosz.

Valencia starting goaltender Mack Willy was lifted early in the third period after making 37 saves.  He was relieved by Brooks Dimarino (13 saves).

 San Diego Sabers @ Long Beach Bombers

Twice in two nights the San Diego Sabers rallied from a two-goal deficit on the road against the Western Division leaders, but they came up short both times.

Long Beach 5, San Diego 3 – Long Beach and San Diego went into the third period tied, 2-2, but a pair of goals from Erik Sillerstrom sparked the Bombers to a 5-3 win.

Long Beach led, 2-0, but San Diego tied it in the second period on goals from Karel Kankovsky and Ashton Jones.

With the game tied in the first minute of the third period, Korolev made a nice little touch pass to Sillerstrom as he crossed the San Diego blue line.  Sillerstrom took a few strides then, using a defenseman as a screen, scored on a 30-foot wrist shot.

Later in the period with the Bombers up 4-2 Korolev, who also had a goal in the game, made a few nice moves to evade Sabers checkers in the neutral zone, drove wide around a defenseman on the left wing, and hit Sillerstrom with a pass as he drove the net for a backhand tip-in.

Domenic Bosetti made 39 saves for the Bombers, including 18 in the second period to keep the Bombers in the game despite the Sabers carrying the play.

Long Beach 4, San Diego 2 – For the second straight night the game went into the third period tied and, for the second straight night, the Bombers pulled out a two-goal win.

Gennady Malashenko stirred the drink for Long Beach, scoring the first two goals of the game 2:18 apart early in the second period, and putting the nail in the coffin with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Early in the third period, with the Bombers on the power play, a draw went back to Emil Karlsson at the right point.  He slid the puck over to Korolev at the left point and he skated down to the bottom of the left circle, drawing defenders to him, before passing the puck back out to Tomas Urbanec between the circles.  Urbanec’s quick release found the net and would be the winning goal.

Bosetti made another 33 saves – stopping all 11 San Diego shots in the third period – and Marshall McKallip made 30 saves for the Sabers.

Jan Sokolnik and Bryce Dirscherl scored the San Diego goals.

Northern Colorado Eagles @ Wichita Jr. Thunder

Despite three losses, the Wichita Jr. Thunder put up a valiant fight in their three-game series against the Northern Colorado Eagles, suffering frustrating one-goal losses in each of the first two games.

Northern Colorado 2, Wichita 1 – Elis Ericson made 47 saves, including 21 in the first period to keep the Wichita Jr. Thunder in the game, but the Northern Colorado Eagles won, 2-1, on a goal late in the second period by Nikita Sheberov.

Wichita out-shot the Eagles, 16-11, in a scoreless third period, but were unable to get the equalizer past Eagles netminder Marshall Murphy (35 saves).

Jacob Elik’s goal had Northern Colorado in front, 1-0, after the first period, but Tyler Inlow evened the score mid-way through the frame.

With the Eagles on the power play, Trent Hines let go with a blast from the point that Ericsson blocked with his glove, but wasn’t able to hold onto.  Sean McMahon fanned on the rebound, but it came back to him and he poked it to side of the cage where Sheberov had crept in from his position on the side boards and he poked it in with 1:12 left in the period.

Northern Colorado 4, Wichita 3 – Wichita had leads of 2-1 and 3-2 in the second period of Saturday’s game, but the Eagles came through in the cultch for their second one-goal win in as many days, 4-3.

Carson Weingartner gave Wichita a 3-2 lead at the 7:13 mark of the second period, but it took the Eagles just 1:22 to respond.

The puck was cycled behind the Wichita net to Brennan McFarland and he fed it out in front to Bradley Green who had gotten position on the Wichita defender.  That allowed him to get two whacks at the puck, scoring on his own rebound from right on top of Wichita netminder Bronson Sudberry (46 saves).

Less than three minutes later, with the Eagles on the power play, a Wichita defenseman attempted to ice the puck from next his own net.  His clearing attempt went up the middle of the ice and was not high enough.  The puck struck Jacob Elik who quickly fed it over to Sheberov at the bottom of the left circle and he snapped it past a sprawling Sudberry.

The Eagles protected the one-goal lead for the final 28:43 of the game with Murphy (29 saves) stopping all 12 Jr. Thunder shots in the final frame.

Sudberry stopped all 17 shots in the third period, but the Jr. Thunder were unable to tie the game back up.

Northern Colorado 6, Wichita 0 – Sunday’s series finale lacked the drama of the first two games thanks to the flawless goaltending of Murphy, who made 20 saves to record the shutout in a 6-0 Northern Colorado win.

Ericson made 20 saves in the first period to keep the Jr. Thunder within a goal, but the Eagles broke the game open with four goals in the second period.

Trent Hines (2-1-3) and Mark Revniaga (1-2-3) each had three points for the Eagles.

Ericsson made 52 saves in the game.

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

The Meadow Lake Mustangs increased their lead over the Cold Lake Wings in the Provincial Division standings to nine points by taking both ends of a home-and-home series.

Meadow Lake 5 @ Cold Lake 2 – Andrew Hawes scored twice in the third period to complete a hat trick and lift the Meadow Lake Mustangs to a 5-2 road win over the Cold Lake Wings Friday.

Cold Lake came back to tie after the Mustangs took 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period, but Hawes and Meadow Lake took control in the third, out-shooting their hosts, 17-7.

Meadow Lake goaltender Scott Danylak allowed just two of 24 shots to get past him and earned the “W”.

Trey Beck and Nigel Cardinal scored the Cold Lake goals.

The Wings out-shot the Mustangs, 15-11, in a scoreless first period.

Cold Lake 2 @ Meadow Lake 11 – Hawes and Shane Hounsell notched matching hat tricks in an 11-2 Meadow Lake win on Saturday.

Hawes’ hat trick was of the natural variety with Hounsell picking up assists on each goal.

Other impressive efforts for the Mustangs included Justin Hebert (0-4-4) and Erik Ehrmantraut (1-4-5), who both collected four assists in the game, Ostin Fontaine (2-1-3) and Noah Finlay (27 saves).

Meadow Lake led 10-0 before Ryoto Inukai and Lare Pahtayken put the Wings on the board with third-period goals.

Seattle Totems @ Southern Oregon Spartans

The Seattle Totems and Southern Oregon played a two-game set with Seattle winning both games, but the Spartans nearly earned the split on Saturday.

Seattle 7, Southern Oregon 3 – Seven different Seattle players scored as the Totems posted a 7-3 win over the Spartans in Southern Oregon Friday night.

Twice the Totems took a two-goal lead in the second period, and twice the Spartans scored to get within a goal, but Seattle scored three times in the final 3:37 of the game to secure three points in the standings.

Braden O’Brien helped finish off a James Frey wraparound attempt, Cam Gross banged in the rebound of a long shot from the right-boards by Temirlan Skindirov just over a minute later, and Michael Shippee scored the third Seattle goal in a span of 1:43.

Southern Oregon was never able to get goaltender Gabriel Lessard (26 saves) off the ice for an extra attacker.

Seattle goaltender Wyatt Monear made 35 saves on 38 shots.

Seattle 6, Southern Oregon 5 – The Spartans took a 5-4 lead into the third period Saturday night, but the Totems came through in the clutch with a pair of third-period tallies to win, 6-5.

Seven minutes into the period, after a series of sustained pressure by the Totems, Gabriel Sbop cycled the puck to Linus Eriksson right the right corner and he eluded two Southern Ontario defenders, skated out into the circle, and fed Cameron Waisman in the slot for an open 20-foot wrist shot that hit the mark high glove side to tie the game.

Just over a minute later, it appeared that the Spartans had scored to go back in front, but it was waved off.

Seattle’s Ruslan Kulizade (32 saves) and Southern Oregon’s Lessard (36 saves) managed to keep the game tied for a little over five minutes, and it started to feel like the next goal might be the winner.

A Southern Oregon clearing attempt was kept at the blue line by Seattle’s Kason Furukawa.  He sent a long, fluttering shot on net that Lessard blocked, but couldn’t control the rebound.  Braden Sanchez swatted the rebound in for the winning goal.

Dallas Snipers @ Steamboat Wranglers

The Dallas Snipers won a pair of tight-checking, low-scoring games in Steamboat, but the Wranglers opened things up and won the track meet on Sunday.

Dallas 3, Steamboat 0 – For a long time it looked like neither team would score, but the Dallas Snipers scored twice in a span of 1:39 midway through the third period, then added an empty-netter for a 3-0 win over the Steamboat Wranglers on Friday.  Dallas goalie Kyle Plantz stopped all 44 Wranglers shots for the shutout.

Plantz and Steamboat’s Jordan Belley (31 saves) battled in a scoreless tie for 49:11 before Ben Salem scored for Dallas.  On a two-on-one, Lucas Modene let go with a hard, low shot to Belley’s stick side and the rebound kicked out to Salem to popped it into the net.

The Snipers struck again shortly after when Igor Litvinenko’s quick release as he came down the left wing found the net.

Hunter Best hit the empty Steamboat net from the left faceoff circle in his own end of the rink with 1:14 to put the game away.

Dallas 4, Steamboat 1 – Steamboat took a 1-0 lead into the third period on Saturday, but things fell apart as Salem tied the game, then Jasa Jenko scored a natural hat trick to give the Snipers a 4-1 win.

Jordan Belley did what he could for two periods, stopping all 18 shots he faced, but the Snipers threw 21 shots at him in the third period and he could no longer hold the fort.

Alexander Aleshkin, meanwhile, allowed Andrew Demorat’s first-period goal then stopped all 21 shots he faced over the final two frames to finish with 37 saves.

Eric Eaton assisted on all three of Jenko’s goals.

At the 8:56 mark of the third period, with Dallas on a power play, Jenko positioned himself in front of the Wranglers net and re-directed Simon Birkehorn’s shot from the blue line to give the Snipers their first lead of the game.

At 12:36, Jenko emerged with the puck from a scramble in the neutral zone, and skater hard towards the Steamboat net, creating a two-one-one with Eaton.  They worked a nifty give-and-go with Jenko using his backhand to deposit the return feed past Belley.

Finally, with 1:24 left and Steamboat pressing for a goal with the extra attacker, a clearing attempt hit Jenko and bounced to Eaton who returned it to him for the empty-netter to close out the scoring.

Steamboat 8, Dallas 5 – Steamboat found their scoring touch Sunday, lighting the lamp eight times to snap an eight-game losing streak with an 8-5 win.

The Wranglers took two-goal leads of 2-0, 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3.  The first three times Dallas got the next goal to get back within one, but Adam Albert’s goal 3:36 into the third period – his third of the game – made it 6-3 Steamboat.  That was a big goal and held up as the game-winner after the Snipers closed to within a goal a fourth time – thanks to tallies from Jenko and Salem.

But as resilient as the Snipers were, Steamboat was just as determined not to get swept on home ice.

Tyrell Bourke and Sven Sollander (ENG) scored in the final four minutes of the game to make it an 8-5 final for the Wranglers.  Sollander finished the game with four points (2-2-4).  Dalton Eagle Bear and Sebastian Culver each had three assists.

Jenko, with two goals and an assist, was the most productive Dallas skater.

Ogden Mustangs @ Casper Bobcats

The Ogden Mustangs continued their dominance over most of the Western States Hockey League, scoring 00 goals in a road sweep of the Casper Bobcats.

Ogden 9, Casper 1 – Ogden lit the lamp three times in each period and Artur Ogandzhanyan stopped 24 of 25 shots to lift the Mustangs to a 9-1 win over the Bobcats at Casper Ice Arena Friday night.

Lukas Vacin (2-2-4) was the only Ogden skater to score more than once in the game.  Kerry Kruzel (0-3-3), Bryson Bartell (1-2-3) and Ammon Anderson (1-2-3) all contributed three points.

Denis Matic scored the Casper goal early in the second period.

Henry Dundee went the distance for the Bobcats, making 55 saves.

Ogden 13, Casper 2 – Lukas Vacin and Ammon Anderson both had hat tricks in a 13-1 Ogden win Saturday. 

The Mustangs scored six goals in the first period and cruised form there.  Anders Johnson, Bobby McKinley and Ian Currie all had two-goal games and Jacob Hough stopped 21 of 22 shots.

The Casper goals came from Ryan Radtke and Trevor Roehrig.

Ogden 13, Casper 5 – The Bobcats found the net five times in the third period on Sunday, but it was not enough as the Mustangs already had the game in hand, winning 13-5.

Vacin (2-2-4), Oliver Wieringa (2-1-3) and Samuel Sabos (2-0-2) all had two goals in the game for the Mustangs.  Ian Currie had a goal and three assists and Lukas Kucera dished out four helpers.

Daniel Silar scored twice for the Bobcats and added an assist.

Utah Outiers @ Cheyenne Stampede


Utah 13, Cheyenne 1 – Matt Bartel accounted for all four second period goals by Utah as the Outliers defeated Cheyenne, 13-1 on Friday.

Bartel added a fifth goal in the third period and Nicholas Ness had four assists for Utah. 

Bryan Watters scored early in the third period for the Stamps.

Utah’s Oscar Wahlgren (18 saves) stopped all 13 shots he faced through the first two periods.

Utah 13, Cheyenne 1 – Saturday’s game ended with the same final score:  13-1 Utah.

Zach Dornseifer led the Utah attack with four goals – all in the first period – opening the game with a natural hat trick in a span of 4:01 to spot the Outliers a 3-0 lead.

Logan Syrup scored the Cheyenne goal midway through the second period.

Utah 7, Cheyenne 0 – Dornseifer and Jan Dvorak each scored twice and Wahlgren handled all 11 shots he faced in a 7-0 Utah win on Sunday.

Cheyenne’s Brendan Carew (58 saves) kept the Stampede in the game as long as he could, stopping 19 of 20 shots in the first period, but the Outliers scored four times in the second period to pull away.

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

The Bellingham Blazers maintained their 23-point lead atop the Northwest Division by taking both ends of a home-and-home series against the division’s fourth-place club, the West Sound Admirals.

West Sound 2 @ Bellingham 8 – The Bellingham Blazers scored six second-period goals in a span of 9:40 and went on to an 8-2 victory over the visiting West Sound Admirals on Friday.

The game was tied, 1-1, after the first period before the onslaught in the second frame.  Jamahl Eakett and Robbie Eichelberger each had a pair of goals for Bellingham and Edward Coffey made 20 saves for the Blazers.

The West Sound goals came from Oliwer Stensson in the first period and Vladislav Polyashov in the third.

Bellingham 6 @ West Sound 2 – Saturday night in Bremerton, the Admirals rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the game in the second period, but the Blazers took the lead back before the second intermission, then tacked on three more goals in the third for a 6-2 win.

Eakett (2-2-4) scored two goals, including the game-winner.  Ilya Abubakirov (2-1-3) also scored a pair and Timothy Prexler collected three assists for Bellingham.

Blazers netminder Kolter Pawlick surrendered a pair of goals in the opening frame but stopped all 22 shots West Sound sent his way over the final 40 minutes – including 17 saves in the second period alone.

Polyashov and Artem Popov and scored for the Ads and Josh Breznik made 35 saves in the West Sound net.

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

The first-place Edson Aeros took both ends of a home-and-home series against their nearest competition, opening up a 12-point lead over the Hinton Wildcats at the top of the Provincial Division.

Hinton 2 @ Edson 6 – The visiting Hinton Wildcats scored first, and the game was tied 1-1 after one period, but the Edson Aeros scored three unanswered goals in the second period on their way to a 6-2 win Friday night at Repsol Place.

Six different players scored for Edson including Emil Johansson, who supplied the game-winner, and WSHL scoring leader Sebastian Heden who also had three assists.

Edson’s Liam Austin stopped 19 of 21 shots while Hinton’s Max Gaudet made 31 of his 41 saves through the first two periods.

Edson 7 @ Hinton 1 – Saturday night in Hinton, Heden notched a hat trick and threw in a helper to propel the Aeros to a convincing 7-1 win.

Johansson had a goal and three assists and Austin turned aside 25 of 26 shots.

Hinton split the goaltending duties between starter Max Gaudet (31 saves) and Samuel Gendron (26).

Jacob Delorme actually put the Wildcats up, 1-0, 8:09 into the contest, but Hinton’s lead was short-lived as Brayden Valentini responded for Edson just 23 seconds later.  Heden scored twice as Edson built a 4-1 lead by the first intermission.

--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media