WSHL WEEKEND WRAP-UP; November 15-18, 2018

by Scott Harrington

Ogden Mustangs @ Oklahoma City Blazers

The Oklahoma City Blazers and Ogden Mustangs played 185 minutes of playoff-caliber hockey, plus a shootout, over the weekend at Arctic Edge Ice Arena in Oklahoma City.  After splitting the first two games, the Blazers took Sunday’s game in a shootout, to claim five of a possible nine points in the standings – a good result for both teams, considering they entered the series with a single loss between them.

Oklahoma City 3, Ogden 2 – The Ogden Mustangs rallied from a two-goal deficit on the road, but ultimately fell to the Oklahoma City Blazers, 3-2, for their first loss of the season.

The Blazers out-shot the Mustangs, 14-7, in the opening period, with OKC’s William Swearingen scoring the only goal of the frame.

Stephane Doering made it 2-0 Blazers just 17 seconds into the second period, but Ogden answered the bell.  Cannon Rogers put the Mustangs on the board just over two minutes later and Ammon Anderson tied it up with six minutes left in the period.

It was 2-2 early in the third period when the Blazers went on a power play.  An OKC rush was broken up, but the puck ended up at the left point where Doering fired a low shot along the ice.  Ogden’s Owen Zdunski made the initial save (one of 20 he made in the game) but Tobias Thorner deposited the rebound for a power play goal and a 3-2 lead for Oklahoma City.

The Blazers successfully protected the lead for the final 13:12 with the help of Bobby Cloutier (42 saves).

Doering (1-2-3) figured in all three OKC goals.

Ogden 5, Oklahoma City 4 – Ogden rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win, 5-4, on Saturday.

Just 1:25 into the opening period Daniel Baranek accepted a pass in the neutral zone, split three Ogden defenders, broke in alone on Ogden goalie Artur Ogandzhanyan and buried a quick shot to give the Blazers the early lead.

Oklahoma City made it 2-0 with a power play goal at the 11:54 mark to put the Mustangs back on their heels.  Vitalii Mikhailov centered the puck from the right corner and the pass was knocked down, but Harri Kroll showed some quick hands to swat the puck into the net.  The Blazers had converted just six seconds into the power play.

The Mustangs got a big goal late in the period.  The Blazers had two chances to clear the puck and both times Ogden held the puck in at the line.  The second time Cannon Rogers skated hard down the left-wing boards and found Bryson Bartell alone in front for a point-blank opportunity which he converted.

Tobias Thorner restored OKC’s two-goal lead early in the second period, but Rhett Rampinelli and John Shively got the Mustangs back even by the second intermission.  That sent the two teams into an intense third period tied, 3-3. 

Bartell had a pass from the boards hit him in the left skate as he skated through the left faceoff circle, but quickly spun and fired a pass across the slot to Rampinelli at the bottom of the right circle.  He wasted no time burying his second goal of the night, giving the Mustangs their first lead of the game at the 5:44 mark.

Bobby Cloutier of Oklahoma City (30 saves) and Ogandzhanyan of Ogden (24 saves) kept the puck out of the net at both ends for the next eight minutes or so and everybody in the rink could sense the next goal would be huge.

Ogden’s Ammon Anderson would be the one to get that next goal.  A stretch pass found its way through a Blazers defender, allowing Anderson to charge in on Cloutier and beat him between the pads to give the Mustangs a two-goal lead.

Kroll’s second goal of the game for the Blazers, with 2:10 left in the game, made things interesting, but Ogandzhanyan and the Mustangs were able to run out the clock.

Oklahoma City 4, Ogden 3 (SO) – Blazers goalie Xavier Garneau made 49 saves in the game, then stopped all five Ogden skaters in the shootout as Oklahoma City claimed a 4-3 shootout win on Sunday.

At 4:32 of the third period, John Shively scored to give Ogden their first lead of the game, but Simon Martineau scored for the Blazers with 3:36 left in regulation to force overtime.

When five minutes of three-on-three overtime did not solve anything, the two teams went to a shootout.

Ogden’s Bryson Bartell was the first to shoot, but he got in too close and Garneau stuffed him with his pads.

Vitalii Mikhailov executed the “Forsberg” move to put OKC up 1-0.  The left-handed shot moved sharply to his left, then dragged the puck back with one hand and tucked it past a sprawling Artur Ogandzhanyan, who made 28 saves in the game.

Ogden’s Lukas Vacin tried to make a move to his backhand but went too deep and hit the side of the net.

Tobias Thorner, who scored just 29 seconds into the game, went next for OKC and tried to go between Ogandzhanyan’s legs but was stopped.

Ammon Anderson shot stick side on Garneau and missed the net, sending the entire Oklahoma City bench onto the ice for premature celebration thinking it was a three-round shootout.

When the proceedings resumed, Stephane Doering cut in from wide left and shot low stick side, but Ogandzhanyan made a pad save.

The next shooter for the Mustangs, Lukas Kucera shot low stick side and Garneau made a sharp toe save

Jordan Sgro had a chance to clinch the win for the Blazers but shot high.

It came down to the final shooter of the fifth round and Garneau held his ground on Ian Currie and made a right pad save. 

This time, the celebration stuck.

El Paso Rhinos @ Northern Colorado Eagles

The El Paso Rhinos played stronger as their three-game series in Greely, CO against the Northern Colorado Eagles proceeded.  The Rhinos lost the series opener, won Game Two in overtime, then won the third game handily.

Northern Colorado 6, El Paso 3 – Four unanswered goals in the second period sparked the Northern Colorado Eagles to a 6-3 win over the El Paso Rhinos Friday night.

Northern Colorado goaltender Marshall Murphy made 32 saves in the game, stopping 24 of 25 shots through the first two periods.

With the game tied, 1-1, midway through the second period, the Eagles had an extended power play thanks to a major for head contact.  Nikita Sheberov drove with the puck hard to the left post and was thwarted, but Tyler Trombly stuffed the rebound home to give the Eagles their first lead.

The Eagles added two more 40 seconds apart later in the period.  Tom Ignatovich and Jacob Elik gave Northern Colorado a 4-1 lead at the second intermission.

Nils Velm started between the pipes for the Rhinos, and stopped all 15 shots in the first period as El Paso led 1-0 at the first intermission, but was pulled in the Eagles’ four-goal second period.

Northern Colorado’s Mark Revniaga scored twice and had an assist while Ignatovich (1-3-4) had four points.

El Paso 2, Northern Colorado 1 (OT) – Northern Colorado’s Marshall Murphy stopped 52 of 54 shots, but El Paso won, 2-1, in overtime on a Donald Alchin goal.

The Rhinos outshot the Eagles, 17-5, in a scoreless first period.  As a matter of fact, there was no scoring at all until the 12:09 mark of the second period.  With the Eagles skating five-on-three Michael Petrotto in the right circle, and Sheberov at the mid-point of the blue line, played pass and catch a few times before Petrotto unleashed a severe-angle shot that found its way behind El Paso goalie Nils Velm to break the ice.

Dillon Manchester answered for El Paso just 2:58 later.  Samuel Sykes kept a clearing attempt in at the blue line along the left-wing boards.  He threw it towards the net and found Manchester, who made a quick forehand-backhand move and beat Murphy to his stick side and the game was tied.

The last 4:53 of the second period and the entire third period went by just as the first 32:09 of the game had – without any scoring – as Murphy and Velm matched each other save for save.

In the first minute of the three-on-three overtime, El Paso’s Filip Schutz circled high in the Northern Colorado zone and fired a long shot on Murphy who got a glove on it but, before he could cover it up to freeze the play, Alchin jammed it under him for the game-winner.

El Paso 7, Northern Colorado 1 – Nils Velm made 37 saves, and narrowly missed a shutout, as the Rhinos built a 3-0 lead in the first period and rolled to a 7-1 win on Sunday.

Martin Dubsky and John Erramousepe each scored twice for El Paso.

Eagles goaltender Mitchell Robinson was peppered with 23 shots in the first period and finished the game with 43 saves.

Tyler Trombly ruined Velm’s shutout bid with 42 seconds left in the game.

Valencia Flyers @ Fresno Monsters

The Fresno Monsters solidified their second place standing in the Western Division with a three-game sweep of the visiting Valencia Flyers at Selland Arena.  Fresno now enjoys an eight-point cushion over third-place San Diego in the division standings with two games in hand on the Sabers.

Fresno 4, Valencia 3 – The Fresno Monsters rallied from a 3-1 deficit on home ice to claim a 4-3 regulation win on Thursday night.

Rory Scott scored 7:37 into the third period to tie it up, 3-3, and Petr Philippov’s second goal of the game was the game-winner with 4:41 left in regulation.

Valencia goaltender Brooks Dimarino almost stole some points for the Flyers, stopping 21 of 22 shots in the second period alone, and making 48 saves in the game.

Tyler Matthews made 17 saves to earn the win for Fresno.

Fresno 7, Valencia 2 – Stanislav Danev scored two goals, including the game-winner, as the Monsters won in less dramatic fashion Friday night by a 7-2 score.

Martin Dlugolisnky assisted on three straight goals and Gabriel Congac made 29 saves for Fresno.

Dylan San Augustin and Eimantas Norieka supplied the Valencia goals.

Fresno 4, Valencia 2 – Four different Fresno skaters scored, and Max Karlenzig stopped 24 of 26 shots, as the Monsters closed out the sweep with a 4-2 win on Saturday.

Nakita Garin, Jackson Bauml, Petr Philippov and Rory Scott found the net for Fresno.

Tristan Warr, who scored both Valencia goals, scored with just under five minutes left in the game to get the Flyers within two goals, but that was where the rally ended.

Mack Willy made 34 saves for Valencia.

Seattle Totems @ Cold Lake Wings

The Seattle Totems began and finished their weekend excursion into Western Canada with wins over the Wings in Cold Lake.

Seattle 11, Cold Lake 4 – Cold Lake’s Ilias Okemow scored three times in the second period on Thursday, and each time he got the Wings within a goal, but the Seattle Totems exploded for six unanswered goals in the third period to win, 11-4.

Seattle’s Dominik Cach and Gabriel Sbop matched Okemow’s three-goal output and Michael Shippee (2-3-5) and Cameron Waisman (1-4-5) each had five-point nights.

Seattle 7, Cold Lake 3 – Gabriel Sbop (2-3-5) and Dominik Cach (2-2-4) led the way for Seattle on Saturday as the Totems closed out their swing through Western Canada with a 7-3 win over the Wings at Cold Lake.

Michael Shippee (1-3-4) also had a big game for the Totes while Anson Smith scored all three goals for Cold Lake.

Benjamin Colvin stopped 22 of 25 shots for Seattle while Cold Lake’s Brendan Culbertson made 23 of his 45 saves in the third period.

Bellingham Blazers @ Hinton Wildcats

The Bellingham Blazers maintained their nine-point edge on Seattle for the top spot in the Northwest Division by extending their winning streak to seven games.  That included a pair of wins over the Wildcats in Hinton.

Bellingham 7, Hinton 0 – Jamahl Eackett notched a hat trick and Kolter Pawlick posted a 28-save shutout as the Bellingham Blazers defeated the Wildcats in Hinton, 7-0, on Thursday.

Eackett, who also had a pair of assists in the game, scored one goal in each period.  Tim Prexler (2-4-6) figured in six of the seven Blazers goals.

Samuel Gendron made 40 saves for Hinton.

Bellingham 5, Hinton 2 – Bellingham came back through Hinton on their way back to Washington state and came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to beat the Wildcats, 5-2, behind a hat trick by Christoffer Fogelberg.

Fogelberg’s second goal of the afternoon came with :04 left in the first period and tied the game, 2-2.  The teams then played through a scoreless second period in which Hinton out-shot their guests, 17-14.

Hinton’s Kyle Franceschini (36 saves) and Avery Heath of Bellingham (32 saves) were both perfect in the middle frame.

Fogelberg completed his hat trick 2:54 into the third period, giving the Blazers their first lead of the game.  Timothy Prexler and Jamahl Eakett added insurance goals.

West Sound Admirals @ Meadow Lake Mustangs

The Meadow Lake Mustangs may have lost to the West Sound Admirals on Thursday, but they must have learned something from the experience, because when the Ads came back through on Saturday, the Mustangs beat them for their second win of the season.

West Sound 8, Meadow Lake 4 – The West Sound Admirals almost saw a four-goal lead disappear, but rallied for an 8-4 road win over the Meadow Lake Mustangs on Thursday.

West Sound’s Cory Kane scored the first two goals of the game, and Robby Larson’s goal 1:07 into the second period made it 4-0 Admirals, but Hinton pushed back on home ice.  The Wildcats scored three times in a span of 7:11.

It was 5-4 West Sound going into the third period, but Alec Johnson’s second goal of the game gave the Ads some breathing room and they were in control from there.  Goaltender Josh Breznik entered the game in the third period and turned aside all 21 shots the Wildcats directed at him in their comeback attempt.

Harmen Vining (2-3-5) also had a pair of goals for West Sound.

Meadow Lake 4, West Sound 3 – Meadow Lake scored three unanswered goals in the second period to take a 4-2 lead into the third, and held on for their second win of the season, 4-3, over the Admirals on Saturday. 

West Sound took a 2-1 lead into the second period, but goals by Justyn Noltcho-Clarke, Justin Hebert and Shane Hounsell sent the Mustangs into the third with a two-goal lead.

Noah Finlay stopped 14 of 15 shots in the final frame, and made 44 saves in the game, to backstop the Mustangs to the win.

David Matusek got the Admirals within a goal, at 4-3, with 11:24 to go, but Finlay held the fort the rest of the way.

Alex Olsson made 30 saves for the visiting Admirals.

Southern Oregon Spartans @ Edson Aeros

The Provincial Division-leading Edson Aeros made a statement with a pair of wins over the Southern Oregon Spartans, giving them five wins in six games against Northwest Division visitors and showing they can not just compete inside their division but outside as well.

Edson 6, Southern Oregon 3 – Seven of the nine goals in Thursday’s game came in the third period as the Southern Oregon Spartans came back on two occasions, but ultimately fell short to the Edson Aeros, 6-3.

Edson took a 2-0 lead into the third period, only to see the Spartans tie it.  The Aeros went back up by two goals, 4-2, but Southern Oregon scored again to get within a goal and were pressing to tie late when Emil Johnasson scored twice in the final minute to seal the victory for the Aeros.

Austin Johnson’s 48-save performance kept the Spartans in the game, but the win went to Edson’s Liam Austin (35 saves).

Edson 8, Southern Oregon 1 – Saturday’s game was tied, 1-1, after one period, but Edson scored four times in the second period to take a commanding lead, and Austin stopped 49 of 50 shots in an 8-1 win over Southern Oregon.

Coleman Mueller and Kevin Lundin each had two goals and an assist and Sebastian Heden picked up four points (1-3-4).

Eric Vanderhoff scored for the Spartans.

Casper Bobcats @ Utah Outliers

The Casper Bobcats seemed to play better as the series went on, but dropped all three games to the Utah Outliers in West Valley City.

Utah 7, Casper 2 – Alexander Charin scored twice, 4:46 and 5:09 into the game, and completed a hat trick in the second period as the Utah Outliers scored three unanswered goals to pull away in a game they eventually won, 7-2.

Ryley Bast (1-3-4) had four points in the game, including assists on Charin’s first two goals.

Casper’s Ludwig Nordqvist made 18 of his 38 saves in the second period in a valiant effort to keep the Bobcats in the game, but the Utah offense eventually overwhelmed, out-shooting Casper 45-13 in the game.

Early in the contest, Utah went on the power play and swarmed the Casper net for most of it.  It looked like the Bobcats might kill it off but, with nine seconds life in the man advantage, Bast jumped on a loose puck on the end boards to the left of Nordqvist, got a step on his check, and made a sharp centering pass to Charin who banged it in from short range.

Shortly after the ensuing faceoff, Bast separated a Bobcat defenseman from the puck deep in the Casper zone.  Zak Albers collected the puck below the left-wing circle and found Charin in front with a pass.  Charin buried a quick shot for his second of the night to make it 2-0 Utah.

Utah 5, Casper 3 – The Bobcats had a two-goal lead in the third period Saturday night, but the Outliers came back for a 5-3 win, despite a hat trick from Casper’s Florian Seelman.

If Utah was surprised to find themselves going into the third period trailing by a goal, imagine their surprise when Seelman scored to make it 2-0 just 17 seconds after the faceoff that started the third period.

But Utah responded to the challenge in a big way, raising their intensity level, and they started to make things happen.  Anthony Masanotti scored at the 2:00 mark and Nicholas Ness scored his first of two goals just 29 seconds later to tie the game, 2-2.

Zak Albers gave Utah their first lead of the game midway through the period, but Casper did not fold up the tents.  Seelman scored his third goal of the game to tie it up, 3-3, with 5:31 remaining.

Unfortunately for Casper, Ness scored his second of the night just 18 seconds later, and an empty-net goal put the finishing touches on the “W” for the Outliers.

Henry Dennee, recently brought in from the Topeka Pilots of the NAHL, made 47 saves in his WSHL debut for the Bobcats.

Utah 3, Casper 0 – Casper goaltender Kayne Pasquet stood on his head Sunday afternoon, making 60 saves, but the Bobcats were unable to find the net themselves in a 3-0 loss.

Utah’s Oscar Wahlgren only needed to make 18 saves for the shutout but, considering how long the game was tied, or Utah was protecting a one-goal lead, every save he made was a big one.

The game was scoreless for the first 39:49. There was a faceoff in the Outliers end with :32 seconds left in the second period.  The Bobcats controlled the play off the draw, and were cycling in the right corner of the Outliers zone, but Utah’s Jan Dvorek got control of the puck and made a quick outlet to Jack Papesh.  Papesh then hit Zack Dornseifer with a sharp pass just as Dornseifer crossed the Casper blue line.  He broke in along on Pasquet and beat him with a quick shot low glove to finally break the ice.

The late goal gave Utah a lift going into the locker room and no doubt took a little wind out of Casper’s sails.

It remained a one-goal game until the 12:12 mark of the third period when Dornseifer struck again.  With the two sides skating four-on-four, Papesh took a severe angle shot from along the right-wing boards.  Pasquet made the save, but Dornseifer was there on the doorstep to pop the rebound into the net.

The final Utah goal was scored by Zak Albers with just 1:40 left in the contest.  A Lelek slap shot from the point was blocked, but Albers slid the rebound under Pasquet.  Dornseifer picked up an assist on the play, giving him a hand in all three Utah goals.

Southern Oregon Spartans @ Hinton Wildcats

Hinton 7, Southern Oregon 3 – Five unanswered goals in the second period propelled the Hinton Wildcats to a 7-3 win over the visiting Southern Oregon Spartans on Friday. 

The Spartans led, 2-0, after the first 20 minutes on goals by Rhys Cottle and Axel Low.

Midway through the second period, however, the Wildcats found their scoring touch and scored four times in a span of 3:08 to lead 5-2 after two periods.

Dmitri Buttazzoni scored three times for Hinton and Noah Kwasny (2-3-5) had a five-point night.

Former Fresno Monster netminder Kyle Franceschini made 24 saves to backstop the Wildcats to victory.

Seattle Totems @ Meadow Lake Mustangs

Seattle 13, Meadow Lake 2 – Cameron Waisman scored four goals and Banjamin Colvin made 21 saves as the Seattle Totems defeated the Meadow Lake Mustangs, 13-2, on Friday.

Linus Eriksson (2-1-3), Dominik Cach (2-1-3) and Anders Larsen (1-3-4) also had big games for the Totes.

Dallas Snipers @ Wichita Jr. Thunder

The Dallas Snipers collected all nine possible points from their series in Wichita, but the Jr. Thunder made them work for every one of them.

Dallas 2, Wichita 1 – Dawson Miller and Jasa Jenko scored early in the second period to give the Dallas Snipers a 2-0 lead, and Alexander Aleshkin stopped 40 of 41 shots to preserve a 2-1 win over the Jr. Thunder Friday night in Wichita.

Marcus Ohlsson-Ornelius put Wichita on the board early in the third period – just 1:33 in – but Aleshkin and the Snipers prevented them from getting the tying goal for the final 18:27 of the game to collect all three standings points with a regulation win.

Elis Ericson played a strong game for the Jr. Thunder, making 33 saves on 35 shots, and keeping Dallas off the board for all but a stretch of 2:24 early in the second period when they scored both of their goals.

Dallas 6, Wichita 4 – The Snipers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period Saturday, but the Jr. Thunder rallied, taking a 4-3 lead at the 12:38 mark of the second period.

Game went into the third period tied, 4-4. 

Danil Trenikhin’s second goal of the game, at 6:35 of the third period, gave Dallas the lead back.  Jasa Jenko battled for the puck along the right-wing boards, drew two defenders to him, them moved the puck to Trenikhin in front.  Trenikhin initially fumbled the puck, but just moved further to his left, creating a wider angle and scooped the puck into the net.

There was no further scoring until Jenko sealed it with a power play goal with 1:33 left.  He moved to the post to the right of Sudberry and Igor Litvinenko fed him a perfect pass that he banged home.

Litvinenko (2-2-4) finished the game with four points.

It was a disappointing conclusion to the game for Sudberry, who made 52 saves. 

Danny Jamison made 48 saves for the Snipers.

Dallas 6, Wichita 1 – The Snipers scored four times in a span of 7:44 in the first period of Sunday’s series finale, they cruised from there to a 6-1 win behind two goals apiece from Igor Litvinenko and Eric Eaton.

Jamison was back between the pipes for Dallas and turned aside 19 of 20 shots.

Wichita’s Jack Lebar scored the only goal of the second period, but the Jr. Thunder still went into the third period trailing by three goals and were not able to mount a comeback.

Jr. Thunder netminder Robert Allen made 14 of his 30 saves in the third period.

West Sound Admirals @ Cold Lake Wings

West Sound 6, Cold Lake 5 (OT) – The fans in Cold Lake were treated to an entertaining game Friday evening – although they didn’t like the final outcome – as the West Sound Admirals rallied from a 5-3 third-period deficit to defeat the Wings, 6-5, in overtime.

Robby Larsen scored with just over eight minutes left to get the Admirals within a goal at 5-4.  It looked like the Wings might successfully run out the clock, but Larsen struck again with just :32 left in regulation, forcing sudden-death.

With goaltender Josh Breznik (27 saves) pulled for an extra attacker, a David Matusek shot went wide on the short side, but Cold Lake goalie Skyler Hildebrand was unable to prevent it from bouncing off the end boards and into the crease where Larsen tapped it in to tie the game.

Both teams had chances in the three-on-three overtime, but Cory Kane made great use of the open ice, skating a puck from next to his own net all the way to the Cold Lake zone, out-skating the Wings and beating Hildebrand (40 saves) with a shot stick side to end the game.

Cold Lake’s Nigel Cardinal scored twice in the game as did West Sound’s Larsen and Oliwer Stensson (2-2-4).

Cheyenne Stampede @ Steamboat Wranglers

The Cheyenne Stampede picked up their long-overdue first win of the season and enjoyed the feeling so much they went out and won again the next night, but the Steamboat Wranglers won a wild game on Sunday to avoid the sweep.

Cheyenne 5, Steamboat 2 – Jeremy Velazquez and Bryan Watters scored two goals each, and Brendan Care made 36 saves, as the Cheyenne Stampede picked up their first win of the season, 5-2, over the Wranglers in Steamboat.

Richard Kaye put the Wranglers on the board first, 3:52 into the game, but Cheyenne scored three times before the first intermission for a 3-1 lead.  Watters scored the only two goals of the second period to make it 5-1 Stampede and Carew had all of the support he would need.

Steamboat’s Ian Young made 28 saves and Tristan Wells scored the other goal for the Wranglers.

Cheyenne 5, Steamboat 0 – Carew was on his game again on Saturday, stopping all 44 shots sent his way as the Stampede won, 5-0.

Ben Gloe scored three goals for Cheyenne and Watters added another pair. 

Chayo Goodwin was between the pipes for Steamboat, making 26 saves.

Steamboat 7, Cheyenne 5 – The Wranglers blew a three-goal lead in the third period of Sunday’s game, but maintained their composure and won, 7-5, on an Adam Albert goal.

Wranglers took a three-goal lead into the third period, which they began on a power play on a fresh sheet of ice, but the Stampede killed the penalty, then scored three times in a span of 2:32 to tie the game, 5-5.

Jeremy Velasquez tried to saucer a pass through a Steamboat defenseman to Logan Syrup as he moved between the circles.  The puck was knocked down, but landed in front of Syrup and he slid the puck inside the far post

45 seconds later Adrian Dookie took a shot from the blue line that was blocked, but the puck bounced to Watters, who spun and shot the puck through a screen in front and past Steamboat goalie Blake Reinert who did not move.  All of a sudden, the Stampede were within a goal and the Wranglers were back on their heels.

Cheyenne kept coming.  Ben Gloe drew a penalty, resulting in a Stampede power play.  Cheyenne needed a big save by Juha Salmela on a partial breakaway by Sebastian Culver to preserve the lead.  The puck transitioned up ice and ended up on the stick of Hakan Salt, who fired a 45-foot wrist shot that eluded Reinert and, 4:53 into the period, the game was tied up.

The Wranglers righted the ship, however, and at 8:40 a partially deflected shot by Adam Albert trickled towards the Cheyenne net.  Salmela, who made 30 saves in the game, was screened and the puck dribbled inside the left post without him seeing it.

The Stampede still had time to tie the game back up but Reinert, who made 12 of his 27 saves in the third period, shook off the three rapid-fire goals and made the saves he needed to down the stretch.

With Salmela pulled for the extra attacker, Steamboat’s Dalton Eagle Bear hit the post, and it looked like it might come back to bite the Wranglers as there was a faceoff back in the Steamboat end with :17 seconds left.  The Wranglers were able to clear the zone, however, and hit the empty net with :01 left to put an exclamation point on their win.

Long Beach Bombers @ San Diego Sabers

The Western Division leaders, the Long Beach Bombers, won twice in San Diego, but the Sabers did not make it easy on them, and even picked up a point in the process.

Long Beach 4, San Diego 3 (OT) – The San Diego Sabers continue to make waves in the Western Division, pushing the division leaders from Long Beach to overtime before falling on a late goal by the Bombers’ Emil Karlsson.

The Bombers led 1-0 after one period, and 2-1 after two, but the Sabers kept coming at them.  At 12:12 of the third period, Ashton Jones tied the game again.  The Bombers failed to clear their zone twice.  A bad D to D pass ended up on Jere Jaakkola’s stick in the slot but he missed the net.  The Bombers turned it over again before they could clear the zone and another great chance missed the net, but the puck went behind the net and Jones quickly brought it around to the left post for a wrap-around goal.

About three and a half minutes later San Diego took its first lead of the game.  The Bombers were going for the go-ahead goal on the power play.  A stretch pass from deep in their own zone was picked off by Sabers captain Karel Kankovsky who skated it the other way himself, skating wide around the last Bomber back and scoring on a backhand shot.

Long Beach defenseman Jakob Kabring blasted a shot from just inside the blue line that got through Aleksei Vereshchagin (38 saves) to tie the game with 3:28 left in regulation.

The Bombers went on the power play less than a minute into OT, but the Sabers killed it. 

Long Beach goalie Domenic Bosetti (41 saves) made a big stop on a breakaway with 2:15 left and play continued.  Long Beach sniper Artem Korolev drove net and drew tripping call with 1:07 left and the Bombers got a second shot at a power play in sudden-death and made good on it. 

Tomas Urbanec stripped the puck from a Saber player as San Diego tried to run the clock out.  He created a two-on-one and Vereshchagin made a big save, but the clearing attempt was kept in the San Diego zone and Karlsson fired a long wrist shot that found the back of the net with :20 left on the clock.

Long Beach 5, San Diego 3 – A pair of Eric Lovstrand power play goals in the third period of Sunday’s game helped the Bombers rally from a 3-1 second-period deficit to beat the Sabers, 5-3.

Jakub Vesely scored in the final minute of the first period to break a 1-1 tie and give San Diego the lead at the first intermission, and Samuel Kapusta made it 3-1 Sabers at the 4:09 mark of the second period.

Karlsson got Long Beach within a goal at the second intermission, but Lovstrand Long Beach scored at 5:50 and 10:00 of the third to take a 4-3 lead.

With the Sabers serving a five-minute major, the Bombers cashed in to tie the game, 3-3.  Lovstrand made an end-to-end rush that ended with him making a toe-drag move that eluded a defenseman and also changed his release point.  His wrister from the inside of the left circle beat Vereshchagin on the short side.

Lovstrand stuck again midway through the period to give Long Beach their first lead of the game.  With the Bombers again operating with the man-advantage, Filip Nordin made a pass from the mid-point, feeding Lovestrand at the top of the left circle.  He had room to skate to take a few strides and beat Vereshchagin cleanly with a wrist shot high to his stick side.

Krystof Knapek gave the Bombers an insurance goal with just under three minutes to go.

Vereshchagin made 14 of his 33 saves in the third period and Matthew Genter made 30 saves for Long Beach.

Jakob Kebring assisted on three straight Long Beach goals.

Bellingham Blazers @ Edson Aeros

Bellingham 4, Edson 1 – Timothy Prexler scored twice, including a key insurance goal late in the game, and Edward Coffey stopped 39 of 40 shots as the Bellingham Blazers won, 4-1, over the Aeros Friday night in Edson.

Edson out-shot their guests, 17-9, in s scoreless first period, but Nathan Gottselig put the Aeros up, 1-0, 2:59 into the second period.

Prexler tied things up midway through the period, then set up Jamahl Eakett at the 14:51 mark to give the Blazers the lead, 2-1.

The first 18:15 of the second period went by with Coffey and the Blazers clinging to a 2-1 lead.  With the Aeros pressing late in the game, the Aeros attempted to skate the puck out of their zone up the left wing boards, but Veaceslav Pinin separated the player from the puck.  Eakett pick up the loose puck and hit Timothy Prexler who drove hard to the net for the tap-in.

Daniel Hebert closed out the scoring with an empty-netter in the final minute.

Liam Austin made 31 saves for Edson.

Ontario Avalanche @ San Diego Sabers

San Diego 3, Ontario 2 – Matthew Berezowski endeared himself to his new San Diego teammates on Saturday night, scoring the game-winning goal with just 2:23 left in the third period as the Sabers defeated the Ontario Avalanche, 3-2.

Berezowski just recently joined the Sabers and was playing just his second game with the club.

San Diego led, 1-0, after the first period, and Tyler Balok’s goal at 14:08 of the second period gave them a 2-0 lead.

Logan Corrigan scored a big goal for Ontario less than two minutes later, getting the Avalanche on the board and within a goal at 2-1 going into the third period.

The Sabers protected their lead for the first 12:33 of the frame until Liam Massie knotted the game, 2-2, but Berezowski came through for the Sabers and San Diego picked up a big regulation win within the division.

Ontario goaltender Connor Duffy continued his strong season, stopping 28 of 29 shots in the second period, and making 46 saves overall.

Marshall McKallip was between the pipes for San Diego, making 23 saves.

--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media