WSHL WEEKLY NOTES 02.01.19 – PROVINCIAL DIVISION
WSHL standings are expressed W-L-OTW-OTL (“W” and “L” represent regulation wins and losses; shootouts are included in overtime results). Three points are awarded for a regulation win, two for an overtime win and one for an overtime loss.
COLD LAKE WINGS (3-26-1-1, 12 pts)
In an effort to be more competitive in the Provincial Division race, the Cold Lake Wings have been busy adding players to their roster.
Eighteen-year-old Chilliwack, BC native Riley Smith hit the scoresheet in each of his first three games after joining the Wings from the Bellingham Blazers – that included goals against the top two teams in the division – Hinton and Edson.
Smith, who scored five goals and added three assists in 31 games with Bellingham, made his junior hockey debut last season as a 17-year-old with the Surrey Knights of the PJHL (Junior B).
Colt Comstock, a 19-year-old defenseman who started the season with the Cheyenne Stampede before being traded to the Edson Aeros in late October, has also been acquired by Cold Lake.
Comstock, from Nanton, AB, has also played with the Arizona Redhawks in his WSHL career and adds some junior hockey experience to a young Wings blue line.
Cold Lake imported some size from Edson as well, bringing in 6’4”, 215-pound forward Riley Warner who, ironically, has also played with Cheyenne and Arizona.
Warner, 19, hails from Beaumont, AB.
EDSON AEROS (23-6-1-1, 72 pts)
With teams around the Provincial Division aggressively adding players for the stretch drive, the Edson Aeros did not want to stand pat and made some moves of their own.
Edson has looked like the team to beat in the division all season long, but lost all three of their games at the Western States Shootout against other division-leading teams from around the WSHL. They seem to realize the importance of bulking up their lineup in hopes of a better showing at the Thorne Cup tournament as well as a playoff run through a beefed-up division field.
Edson brought in 19-year-old forward Ryley Bast from the Utah Outliers and looked to the Northern Colorado Eagles for another pair of 19-year-olds, forward Samuel Pollack and Swedish defenseman William Andersson.
Bast played a full season of Junior B hockey in the KIJHL last year and played 35 games in the WSHL this season with Utah before being transferred north of the border. Bast has seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points with the Outliers.
Pollack played just seven games with the Eagles. He scored twice in his first game, then was held off the scoresheet altogether over the last six games.
Andersson, from Vasteras, is a 6’2”, 180-pound stay-at-home blue liner who collected four assists in 22 games with Northern Colorado.
HINTON WILDCATS (18-11-1-1, 57 pts)
Stop me if you have heard this…the Hinton Wildcats have brought in some fresh blood, adding forward and Calgary native Emilio Ficaccio from the Long Beach Bombers.
Ficaccio had a single point – an assist – and 33 penalty minutes with the Bombers and brings experience with an elite WSHL franchise with him to Hinton.
Forward Dorian Hall was added from Cold Lake. Hall had 10 points (4-6-10) in 15 games with the Wings, collecting six (3-3-6) of his 10 points on the power play. He joins a Wildcats power play connecting on just under 20% of their opportunities (19.8%, 9th in the WSHL).
Former Bellingham Blazer netminder Avery Heath picked up his first win for the Wildcats in his second start with the team. Heath stopped 41 of 43 shots in a 6-2 win over Cold Lake last Friday.
Heath owned a 10-5-0 mark over two seasons as a backup with the Blazers.
MEADOW LAKE MUSTANGS (8-23-0, 24 pts)
The Meadow Lake Mustangs are already the most-improved team in the Provincial Division, but they are not resting on their laurels, instead making three more additions to their roster.
A pair of Saskatchewan natives joined the Mustangs from the Frog Lake T-Birds of the NEAJBHL.
Peter Willier scored 10 goals in 16 games with Frog Lake. He joined the Mustangs last week but is still looking for his first WSHL goal.
Darwin Otto Morin put up 20 points (8-12-20) in 23 games with the T-Birds and picked up an assist in his WSHL debut.
Carson Bear is a 6’2”, 185-pound blue liner who played with three other teams this season (including Frog Lake). He collected six penalty minutes in his first game with Meadow Lake.
The Mustangs hope these new additions can have the same kind of impact as Tobie Opikokew, who had two goals and an assist against Edson in his WSHL debut two weeks ago.
--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media