WSHL WEEKEND WRAP-UP; January 3-6, 2019

by Scott Harrington

Bellingham Blazers @ Fresno Monsters

The Bellingham Blazers rebounded from a rough showcase by winning an impressive two of three games at Fresno’s Selland Arena, opening up a 23-point lead at the top of the Northwest Division in the process.

Bellingham 3, Fresno 1 – Just 27 seconds after Fresno had tied the game 1-1 in the third period, Robbie Eichelberger responded with what held up as the game-winning goal for Bellingham Blazers in a 3-1 win over the Monsters at Selland Arena on Thursday night.

Fresno pulled goaltender Max Karlenzig in an attempt to get the equalizer, but Bellingham’s Jamahl Eakett’s second goal of the game went into an empty net to seal the deal with :36 left.

The two teams battled through a scoreless tie for the first two periods as Karlenzig and Bellingham’s Kolter Pawlick matched each other save-for-save.  Pawlick would emerge with the “W” but each goaltender played very well, each making 26 saves.

Eakett broke the ice 3:59 into the third period, skating down the left side of the ice and burying a wrist shot from the circle, but Fresno’s Maxim Gorshkov evened the score at the 7:18 mark.

Pawlick froze the puck in a scramble in front, forcing a faceoff.  Stanislav Danaev won the draw cleanly to Gorshkov at the top of the left circle and he ripped a slap shot that found the twine and tied the game.

Fresno’s jubilation was short-lived.  Thomas Steven hustled in on the forecheck and stripped a Monsters defender of the puck behind Karlenzig’s cage.  He quickly fed the puck to Eichelberger as he cut to the front of the net and buried the game-winner.

Bellingham 5, Fresno 2 – Five different Blazers lit the lamp on Friday, and Edward Coffey turned aside 21 of 23 shots, as Bellingham won, 5-2.

Timon Prexler’s goal with :15 left in the first period broke a 1-1 tie.  The Monsters out-shot the Blazers, 8-7, through a scoreless second period, but Coffey held the fort and Bellingham carried a one-goal lead into the third. 

Thomas Steven and Robbie Eichelberger added to the lead with Steven’s goal holding up as the game-winner.

Daneav and Petr Philippov scored the Fresno goals and Tyler Mathews made 33 saves for the Monsters.

Fresno 7, Bellingham 4 – Jeremy Velazquez scored goals two minutes apart in the second period, and added the game-winner in the third, as the Monsters salvaged three points with a 7-4 win on Saturday.

The Monsters led, 4-2, late in the second period, but allowed the Blazers to come back and tie it 5:03 into the third, but Velazquez restored the lead for Fresno, working a nifty give-and-go with Philippov.

Velazquez added two assists in the game for a five-point game.  Philippov (2-3-5) matched his output, supplying the final two Monsters goals, cashing in on a wrist shot from the inside edge of the right circle on the power play and hitting the empty net from the red line for a shorthanded goal to close the scoring.

Eakett, Timothy Prexler and Ilya Abubakirov all had a goal and two assists for the Blazers.

Hinton Wildcats @ Meadow Lake Mustangs

Hinton 9, Meadow Lake 4 – Jakob Arseneault scored three goals, and Brendan Auger and Shawn Peacock added two apiece, as the Hinton Wildcats defeated the Meadow Lake Mustangs, 9-4, in Meadow Lake Friday night.

Brendan Culbertson made 52 saves in the game, stopping 25 of 26 shots in the third period as the Mustangs attempted to stage a comeback.

The Mustangs actually led, 3-2, after the first period but the Wildcats came storming back with five goals in the second period.

Edson Aeros @ Cold Lake Wings

Edson 11, Cold Lake 2 – Hat tricks from Kevin Lundin and Sebastian Heden powered the Edson Aeros to an 11-2 road win over the Cold Lake Wings. 

Lundin added four assists for a seven-point night and Brayden Gyurkovits made 24 saves for Edson.

Max Gaudet (29 saves) and Skyler Hildebrand (30) combined to make 59 saves for the Wings, who were out-shot 70-26 in the game.

Casper Bobcats @ Utah Outliers

The Casper Bobcats had their moments but were ultimately swept in their three-game series against the Outliers in Utah.

Utah 5, Casper 1 – Benji Mickel scored twice in a four-goal second period for the Utah Outliers in their 5-1 win over the Casper Bobcats.

Miroslav Hradecky broke a 0-0 tie mid-way through the second period, finally beating Casper’s Ludwig Nordquist, who made 36 saves in two periods of work.

Mickel added to the lead just 23 seconds later, finishing off a two-on-one with Matt Bartel.  Bartel, a left shot, took a nice lead pass from Jack Papesh exiting the Utah zone, skated hard down the ice to the left of Nordqvist, then fed a nice backhand pass across to Mickel to make it 2-0.

Mickel added another goal later in the period, making it 4-0.  Brad McCloskey made a great play to keep a bouncing puck in at the line and moved the puck to Bartel deep in the left circle.  Bartel dropped a pass back to Mickel in the slot and he made it count, outing the Outliers in the driver’s seat.

Utah goalie Jack Walsh allowed just one goal on 19 shots.

Danis Matic scored the Casper goal early in the third period.

Utah 7, Casper 1 – A six-goal onslaught in the second period sparked the Outliers to a 7-1 win on Saturday.  Anthony Masanotti (2-1-3) scored two goals in the game and Zach Dornseifer (1-2-3) chipped in three points.

Oscar Wahlgren was not very busy in the Utah crease, facing just 13 shots and stopping all but one.  Denis Matic put the Outliers on the board with 6:55 left in the third period.

Bobcats goalie Kayne Pasquet made 43 saves.

Utah 5, Casper 3 – Casper took a 3-2 lead into the third period of Sunday’s game, but the Outliers out-shot the Bobcats, 16-4, in the third period and struck three times to come back and win, 5-3.

Mickel scored twice in the third period rally to complete a hat trick.  Bartel scored the other two Utah goals.

The Outliers stuck with Walsh (21 saves) in net and he made the saves when they counted as the team came storming back to win.

Nordqvist was in the Casper net again, making 35 saves.  He stopped all 13 shots he faced in the second period as the Bobcats took the lead on a Joel Rothman goal.

Trevor Roehrig and Denis Matic scored the other Casper goals in the first period.

Steamboat Wranglers @ Ogden Mustangs

In two of three games the Ogden Mustangs controlled the play against the Steamboat Wranglers they way you think they might, based on the teams’ respective positions in the standings, but the on Saturday the Wranglers made a game of it.  Ogden did end up with the sweep, however, improving their league-best mark to 29-1-0-1.

Ogden 13, Steamboat 1 – Ammon Anderson scored four goals as the Ogden Mustangs rolled to a 13-1 win over the Steamboat Wranglers on Friday.

Rhett Rampinelli (2-3-5) and Lukas Vacin (2-1-3) each scored twice and Jacob Hough stopped 15 of 16 shots for the Mustangs.

Avery Albert scored the Steamboat goal late in the first period.

Ian Young made 31 saves for the Wranglers before giving way to Blake Reinert (17 saves) for the third period.

Ogden 5, Steamboat 2 – The Wranglers were not deterred by their lopsided setback on Friday, coming out on Saturday night with a great effort and staying within a goal of the Mustangs for almost two periods before coming up short, 5-2.

Ogden struck twice in the final 1:42 of the second period to take the wind out of Steamboat’s sails.  Ryan Mascali and Harry Gulliver did the damage, finally getting to Jordan Belley.

Mascali collected a Wranglers dump-out in the neutral zone, hit Ian Currie with a pass as he crossed the blue line, then skated straight to the net and directed a return pass from Currie past Belley to make it 2-0.

Just :39 later, Currie found Mascali again, this time hitting him with a drop pass in the slot.  Mascali corralled the puck and beat Belley with a wrist shot to give the Mustangs and their fans a big lift.

Belley was spectacular in the Steamboat net, holding the Mustangs to one goal for the first 38:18 of the game and making 45 saves through two periods.  He finished the game with 61.

Dalton Eagle Bear and Sven Sollander ruined Chayo Goodwin’s shutout bid as they each scored in the final two minutes of the game.

Rhett Rampinelli scored twice for Ogden.

Ogden 12, Steamboat 0 – The Wranglers apparently got the Mustangs’ attention on Saturday because a more focused Ogden club took to the ice on Sunday, scoring five times in the first period and cruising to a 12-0 win.

Rampinelli scored five goals while Ian Currie and Lukas Kucera each dished out four assists.

Jacob Hough made 22 saves for the shutout.

Cheyenne Stampede @ Dallas Stars

The Dallas Snipers got some top-notch goaltending and took two of three games from the visiting Cheyenne Stampede.

Dallas 6, Cheyenne 1 – Jasa Jenko scored twice as Dallas built a 3-0 lead and the Snipers cruised to a 6-1 win over the visiting Cheyenne Stampede Friday at Dr. Pepper Star Center.

Snipers netminder Alexander Aleshkin stopped 28 of 29 shots.  Bryan Watters put the Stampede on the board with 7:42 left in the game, but the Stamps were already down by six goals.

Cheyenne 4, Dallas 2 – Bryan Watters scored twice and Jonathan Terwisscha stood tall between the pipes for the Stampede in a 4-2 win on Saturday.

Terwisscha stopped 27 of 29 shots as the Snipers stormed the net until Kody Kifer could seal the win with an empty-net goal with :03 left on the clock.

It was the third win of the season for the Stampede.

Watters’ first goal broke the ice mid-way through the first period.

Cheyenne’s leading scorer dented the twine again with 4:14 left in the second period, restoring the lead for Cheyenne after Dallas rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie.

A blind reverse behind the net by a Dallas defenseman ended up on the stick of Kifer and he found Watters in the slot where he buried a quick wrist shot to Aleshkin’s glove side.  It held up as the game-winning goal.

Aleshkin made 19 saves for the Snipers, whos goals came from Hunter Best and Eric Eaton.

Dallas 5, Cheyenne 0 – Dallas did all of their scoring in the second period, and Kyle Plantz turned in a 25-save shutout, in a 5-0 win in Sunday’s rubber match.

All of the Snipers goals came in a span of 11:02 in the second period – including two from Michael Fatta.  Plantz and Cheyenne’s Brendan Carew (26 saves) kept everything out for the other 48:58, including scoreless first and third periods.

Edson Aeros @ Meadow Lake Mustangs

Edson 2, Meadow Lake 0 – The Edson Aeros and Meadow Lake Mustangs battled through two scoreless periods, but Kevin Lundin scored the game-winning goal 10 seconds into the third period and Liam Austin stopped all 30 shots he faced for the shutout in a 2-0 Edson win.

Mustangs netminder Trevor Buckmeier also turned in a stellar effort between the pipes, stopping 48 of 50 shots, but took the tough-luck loss.

Sebastian Lind scored an insurance goal for the Aeros with 7:46 left in the game.

Hinton Wildcats @ Cold Lake Wings

Hinton 6, Cold Lake 0 – Brendan Culbertson continued his strong play between the pipes for the Hinton Wildcats, stopping all 29 shots he faced to shut out the Cold Lake Wings, 6-0, on Saturday.

Culbertson made 14 of his 29 saves in the first period as the Wings came out strong on their home ice, but Hinton’s Ryoto Inukai scored the only goal of the opening frame and that held up as the game-winner.

Dimitri Buttazzoni assisted on Inukai’s goal, his first of five points in the game.  He scored twice in the second period and picked up three assists on the night.

Brendan Auger also had three assists for the Wildcats.

--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media