WSHL WEEKEND WRAP-UP; November 21-25, 2018

by Scott Harrington

Bellingham Blazers @ Seattle Totems

Seattle 8, Bellingham 2 – Linus Ericsson and Gabriel Sbop scored two goals apiece to lead the Seattle Totems to an 8-2 win over the visiting Bellingham Blazers the night before Thanksgiving.

The second period began with the Blazers down by one, but with 1:59 left on a power play and a fresh sheet of ice.  Things went downhill quickly for Bellingham, however.  They failed to convert on the power play, then watched as the Totems scored three goals in a span of 1:16 to open up a four-goal lead.  The Blazers were never able to get back in the game after that.

Thomas Steven and Timothy Prexler were the goal-scorers for Bellingham. 

Ontario Avalanche @ Long Beach Bombers

Long Beach 4, Ontario 1 – The Long Beach Bombers snuck one more home game in before the Thanksgiving holiday, scoring two goals 42 seconds apart early in the second period and going on to a 4-1 win over the Ontario Avalanche.

The Bombers out-shot the Avalanche, 19-10, in a scoreless first period but Ontario’s Connor Duffy and Domenic Bosetti of Long Beach were both impenetrable.

Eric Lovstrand and Artem Korolev scored for Long Beach at 1:36 and 2:18 of the second period.  Korolev also had a pair of assists in the game.

Duffy went on to make 37 saves in the game for the Avs while Bosetti stopped 30 of 31 shots to pick up a well-deserved win.

Jeremy Van Dyke scored for Ontario.

Northern Colorado Eagles @ El Paso Rhinos

The scores got closer as the series went on, but the El Paso Rhinos managed a sweep of the Northern Colorado Eagles, claiming eight of a possible nine points against their new division rivals.

El Paso 6, Northern Colorado 2 – The El Paso Rhinos scored three goals in a span of 4:24 early in Friday’s game.  The Eagles got on the board with 0.7 seconds left in the first period, but were unable to carry that momentum into the next period in a 6-2 Rhinos win.

Jonas Burman scored the first of his two goals just 2:08 after the opening faceoff to set the tone and Nils Velm stopped 17 of 19 shots for the Rhinos.

Nikita Sheberov and Trent Hines were the goal scorers for the Eagles.

El Paso 4, Northern Colorado 1 – Jacob Elik’s goal late in the second period got the Eagles within a goal, but Martin Dubsky scored twice in the third period to secure a 4-1 win for El Paso on Saturday night.

Velm turned aside 23 of 24 shots to backstop the Rhinos to victory.

The first 12 minutes of the third period went by with Velm and the Rhinos protecting a one-goal lead, but Dubsky gave them some breathing room with his first goal.

Samuel Robinson made a slick move to split two Eagles defenders in the slot.  He was forced to go wide to the right circle to maintain control of the puck, but swept a pass to the front where Dubsky was waiting to finish.

Robinson also drew an assist on Dubsky’s empty-net goal with just over a minute to go that sealed the victory and sent the Rhinos fans home happy.

El Paso 2, Northern Colorado 1 (SO) – Sunday’s game was a low-scoring playoff-calibre tilt that, fittingly, went to sudden-death. 

The Rhinos scored at 7:31 of the first period.  John Erramousepe fed Adam Stalzer in front and he made a nice backhand-forehand move but was stopped by Eagles netminder Marshall Murphy.  The puck dribbled out into the slot, however, and Maximilian Kamper got his stick on it quickly, reaching past a defender and backhanding the puck into the empty cage.

The Rhinos carried that 1-0 lead into the third period after out-shooting the Eagles, 9-7, in a scoreless middle frame.

At the 6:36 mark of the third period, the Eagles knotted the score 1-1.  Jarret Marks collected his own dump-in and kept the Rhinos bust in the right corner of their zone.  The puck squirted loose to an El Paso player, but Jacob Elik poked the puck away and broke in alone on Velm.  The Rhinos goalie made the save, but Marks was there to pop in the rebound and tie the game.

Murphy made a 10-bell save with :38 left in regulation, going post-to-post to rob Kamper.  That allowed the game to go to OT.

El Paso out-shot Northern Colorado, 4-0, in the scoreless five-minute three-on-three OT with Murphy making another highlight reel game-saving save.  Robinson circled the Eagles zone with the puck, moving from the left-wing corner up to the blue line then back down to the right circle where he dished a pass across the crease to Dubecky on the doorstep.  Murphy flashed out his right skate to kick the shot away and send the game to a shootout.

Northern Colorado’s Nikita Sheberov went first in the shootout.  He tried to go over Velm’s glove but the Rhinos goalie got a piece of it.

In the second round, Dillon Manchester fired a shot low stick-side and beat Murphy.

El Paso then won it in the fourth round.  Dubsky, a left-handed shot, cut in from a sharp angle to Murphy’s right and slipped a quick shot just inside the near post to clinch the victory for the Rhinos.

Murphy turned in a fantastic performance, stopping 35 of 36 shots in the game.

Velm was again steady between the pipes for El Paso, making 19 saves and stopping all four Eagles skaters in the shootout.

Steamboat Wranglers @ Wichita Jr. Thunder

The Steamboat Wranglers and Wichita Jr. Thunder played a very competitive three-game series, splitting the first two games before the Jr. Thunder staged an exciting comeback to win the rubber match on Sunday.

Wichita 6, Steamboat 3 – The Steamboat Wranglers went into Wichita Ice Center Friday and took a 2-0 first-period lead, but the Jr. Thunder recovered and won on home ice, 6-3, behind a four-goal performance by Quinn O’Reilly.

Jack Rousseau and Jeremy Landers, Jr. scored for the Wranglers, but O’Reilly got his first one in the final minute of the period to give Wichita some jump heading into the first intermission.

OReilly went on to score twice in the second period for a hat trick, then added one in the third for good measure.  He also assisted on the other two Wichita goals for a six-point game.

Tyler Inlow (1-5-6) was also involved in all six goals for the Jr. Thunder and Tyler Alverson (1-4-5) added five points.

Elis Ericson recovered from a shaky start to make 48 saves.  He stopped 21 shots in the first period to prevent Steamboat from pulling away early and handled 27 of 28 shots over the final two periods.

Steamboat netminder Chayo Goodwin made 33 saves.

Steamboat 5, Wichita 1 – Jordan Belly stopped 36 of 37 shots to backstop the Wranglers to a 5-1 win over Wichita on Saturday.

Steamboat’s five goals came from five different skaters, including Rousseau, who tallied the game-winner at 4:46 of the second period.

Inlow supplied the Jr. Thunder with their only goal, tying the game at 1-1 early in the second period.

Wichita 6, Steamboat 5 – Sunday’s rubber match was a fittingly-tight contest for the third game between a pair of teams that split their first two.  Steamboat held a 5-3 lead midway through the third period, but the Jr. Thunder rallied in front of their home fans to win in dramatic fashion, 6-5.

Christopher Wracker scored twice for Wichita to tie the game.  Carson Weingartner, standing on the center red line, accepted an outlet pass from Erik Back in the Jr. Thunder zone.  Weingartner then relayed the puck to Wracker as he sped through the neutral zone.  He crossed into the Steamboat end and into the right circle where got a step on a defender and released a wrist shot that snuck inside the near post.

About five minutes later, Wracker connected again to tie the game.  Back passed the puck from the left-wing boards across the zone to Wracker at the right point and he let go a slap shot that beat Wranglers goalie Blake Reinert over his left shoulder.

The Jr. Thunder controlled the puck off the ensuing faceoff and the puck was played up the right-wing boards to Tyler Inlow at the Wranglers blue line.  Inlow took a few strides towards the Steamboat net and, from the left-wing faceoff dot, snapped a shot to the stick side of Reinert for the game-winner.

Wichita’s Elis Ericson made 17 of his 38 saves in the third period. Holding the fort as the Jr. Thunder made their comeback.

Rousseau scored two more goals and Blake Reinert made 23 saves for the Wranglers.

San Diego Sabers @ Fresno Monsters

In a series that was closer than some of the scores indicate, the Fresno Monsters swept three games in regulation from the San Diego Sabers, opening a 17-point gap between the two teams in the Western Division standings.

Fresno 6, San Diego 3 – The Fresno Monsters led, 4-0, after the first period at Selland Arena on Friday and cruised to a 6-3 win over the visiting San Diego Sabers.

Dustin Truex broke the ice just :42 after the opening faceoff and Petr Philippov scored two of his three goals in the first period.

Despite falling behind by five goals, the Sabers did not stop working.  Third period goals by Tyler Balok and David Grindstaff got them as close as 5-3 with 5:43 remaining, but Gustaf Wranghede put the game away for Fresno with just under three minutes left.

Tyler Mathews (15 saves) earned the win for the Monsters.  Marshall McKallip made 37 saves for San Diego.

Fresno 6, San Diego 5 – Dustin Truex tied the game with 1:57 remaining, then completed a hat trick with the game-winner with :09 left on the clock as the Monsters rallied from a 5-3 deficit to win, 6-5, on Saturday night. 

The Sabers carried a 4-3 lead into the third period, and Zakary Hanaford’s second goal of the game gave them a two-goal lead less than three minutes into the final frame.

It remained a 5-3 game in favor of San Diego until Martin Dlugiolinsky got a huge goal to get the Monsters back within one with 5:25 left to go.

The tying goal from Truex came on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.  Then, with the clock ticking down, Nakita Garin carried the puck across San Diego blue line.  He drew two defenders to him, and slid a pass to Petr Philippov as he skated down the left wing.  Philippov then hit Truex with a crossing pass as he charged the net, finishing off a beautiful tic-tack-toe passing play for the game-winner.

Fresno 7, San Diego 3 – After letting one slip away the day before, the Sabers came out fired up on Sunday.  San Diego had leads of 2-1 and 3-2 in the second period, but the Monsters came charging back to win, 7-3.

Truex scored to tie the game, 3-3, then Garin tallied a huge goal for Fresno with :06 left in the second period.  With the Monsters on the power play, Stanislav Danaev controlled the puck in the San Diego zone and curled through the left faceoff circle, drawing three Sabers to him and freeing up space for Garin in the slot.  Danaev found him with a pass and Garin buried a 25-foot shot high to the glove side to give the Monsters some jump heading into the locker room for the second intermission.

Zack Turpin scored 1:16 into the third period to give Fresno a two-goal lead and the Monsters rolled from there with Garin adding his second goal of the game later in the period.  Truex also scored twice for Fresno.

Fresno’s Max Karlenzig picked up the win, making 23 saves. 

San Diego’s Marshall McKallip made 34 saves and Jakub Vesely scored twice for the Sabers.

Meadow Lake @ Hinton Wildcats

Hinton 5, Meadow Lake 2 – Shane Hounsell’s goal :36 into the third period got the Meadow Lake Mustangs within a goal, but the Hinton Wildcats put the game away with two quick tallies later in the period for a 5-2 win.

Brendan Auger (2-2-4) figured in four of the five Hinton goals.  Noah Kwasny also scored twice and Justin Dupuis made 24 saves for the Wildcats.

Noah Finlay kept the Mustangs in the game with 44 saves, stopping 23 of 24 in the first period alone to prevent Hinton from pulling away.

Cold Lake Wings @ Edson Aeros

Edson 11, Cold Lake 1 – WSHL scoring leader Sebastian Heden scored four goals, and added three assists, to lead the Edson Aeros to an 11-1 win over the Cold Lake Wings on Friday.

Emil Johansson (3-2-5) and Olle Berndtsson (2-3-5) both had five-point games while Nathan Gottselig added a pair of goals.

Cold Lake’s Brendan Culterson went the distance in net, making an impressive 72 saves – 29 in the first period.

Valencia Flyers @ Ontario Avalanche

The Valencia Flyers and Ontario Avalanche split a two-game Friday/Sunday series in Ontario.  Friday’s win gave the Avalanche a one-point lead over the Flyers, but Valencia responded on Sunday with a win that put them back up by two points over the Avs for fourth place in the Western Division standings.

Ontario 5, Valencia 3 – Five different Ontario skaters scored, and Connor Duffy made 32 saves, to lead the Avalanche to a 5-3 win over the Valencia Flyers at Ontario Center Ice Arena on Friday.

Second period goals by Valencia’s Campbell McDonald and Ashton Richardt got the Flyers within a goal at 3-2 but Ontario’s Justin Davis, who also had a pair of assists in the game, got the all-important next goal two minutes later and the Valencia comeback was quelled.

Valencia 6, Ontario 4 – Danylo Moroz scored four goals to led the Flyers to a 6-4 win on Sunday. 

Moroz scored twice in the first period to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.  Ontario scored four in a row to go up 4-2, but the Flyers responded with their own four-goal run – with Moroz scoring two more – to come back and win, 6-4.

Dominik Knap assisted on all four of Moroz’ goals.

Mack Willy made 27 saves for Valencia and Duffy made 37 saves for Ontario.

Cold Lake Wings @ Hinton Wildcats

Hinton 9, Cold Lake 3 – Dmitri Buttazzoni and Brendan Auger both scored twice in a six-goal third period for Hinton to complete matching hat tricks in a 9-3 win for the Wildcats over the Cold Lake Wings Saturday night.

The game was tied, 1-1, after the first period, and Hinton took a modest 3-2 lead into the third, but the floodgates opened for the Wildcats in the final frame and they won going away on home ice.

Auger also collected four assists in the game for a seven-point effort.  Noah Kwasny also picked up four helpers in the game for the Wildcats as they gave goaltender Samuel Gendron (23 saves) all of the support he needed – even if it came late in the game.

Auger scored 1:04 into the third period to give the Wildcats a two-goal lead with what ended up being the game-winning goal.

Brendan Culbertson went the distance in the Wings cage, making 20 saves on 22 shots in the second period to keep the game close, and finishing the night with 39 saves in all.

Meadow Lake Mustangs @ Edson Aeros

Meadow Lake 6, Edson 5 – In the biggest upset in the Provincial Division so far this season, the Meadow Lake Mustangs picked up their third win of the season, defeating the first-place Aeros, 6-5, in Edson.

The Mustangs took a 5-4 lead into the third period only to see Edson tie it up at the 3:51 mark.  But newly-acquired Andrew Hawes scored his third goal of the game in his WSHL debut to put Meadow Lake back in front, 6-5, and they protected that one-goal lead the rest of the way to pick up the impressive victory.

Coleman Mueller carried the puck into the Meadow Lake zone, cut across traffic to the middle of the ice, and backhanded a shot that found the back of the net for his second goal of the game, tying it up, 5-5.

In a crucial juncture in the game, when the Mustangs could have collapsed on the road, Hawes wasted no time responding.  With Edson pressing in the Meadow Lake zone for the go-ahead goal, he intercepted a cross-ice pass, skated all the way down to the left circle to create a two-on-one and took the shot himself, burying a wrist shot for what proved to be the game-winning goal.

Mustangs netminder Trevor Buckmeier made 47 saves on the night, stopping 16 of 17 shots in the third period with the game on the line.

Shane Hounsell (2-3-5) had five points in the game for Meadow Lake, including an assist on Hawes’ game-winner.

Ostin Fontaine also had a big night for Meadow Lake, scoring his first goal of the season and picking up a pair of assists.

--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media