WSHL WEEKLY NOTES 02.14.18 – MOUNTAIN DIVISION
CASPER COYOTES (16-28-0, 32 pts)
Eliot Bergbauer scored with just 30 seconds left in the second game of the three-game sweep at the hands of Utah this past weekend. Bergbauer’s third goal in just six games with Casper ended the Outliers’ chance at a second straight shutout against the Coyotes. Hamish Campbell assisted on Bergbauer’s goal, giving him eight on the season.
The Camerons connected for Casper’s goal on Sunday with Cameron Cross scoring his sixth goal thanks to Cameron Braun’s 18th assist, rounding out the only goals for Casper against one of the top teams in the Mountain Division.
Dylan Ossachuk, who has been as consistent as they come for Casper, made 42 saves in Friday’s loss including 15 of 16 in the third period. Ossachuk ended with 80 saves in the series, and Tomas Svoboda added 40.
The ‘Yotes played hard all weekend, putting pucks on net and ended the three-game set with 88 shots on net. Alas, the Casper was facing one of the league’s top goaltenders and couldn’t quite make a dent.
Casper finishes the regular season with an 8-17-0 record at home and now have just two more series before heading to the playoffs. The team will travel to Superior to take on the RoughRiders and then end the regular season at Oklahoma City.
CHEYENNE STAMPEDE (2-48-0, 4 pts)
The Cheyenne Stampede closed out their regular season over the weekend, losing two games in Colorado against the Jr. Eagles.
The Stamps finish with just two wins on the year, but with a ton to look forward to as a trio of teenagers
paved the way this season for Cheyenne. That experience will carry this team for a few more years.
Seventeen-year old Logan Syrup ended the season leading the team with a 14-8-22 line, 17-year old Evgenii Bastrakov chipped in a 6-7-13 line, 18-year old Devin Bain saw 12 games in net, and 17-year old Robbie Hufnagel led the team with 17 games played and an .851 SV%.
Hugnagel made 102 saves in five periods over the weekend including 50 in just the first two periods of Sunday’s game.
Cheyenne will have to wait a few weeks before they know who they’re going to be playing in the first round of the playoffs. Any one of the three teams at the top of the Mountain Division can see their current playoff ranking slip in the coming weeks, with the Stampede having to face the 3rd place team in the division.
Today, that team is Colorado, but Utah and Ogden are tied for first, just three points ahead of the Jr. Eagles. Utah and Colorado play this weekend, and Cheyenne will be sure to keep an eye on who their potential opponents will be.
COLORADO EAGLES (31-8-6, 68 pts)
The Colorado Jr. Eagles were busy this weekend, hosting Cheyenne for two games while sandwiching a win over Superior on Saturday. The three-win weekend closes out the regular season in Fort Collins, but the team still has two more series in the state of Utah to go.
Dawson Keay joined the team just two weeks ago and scored a 3-3-6 line against the Stampede, giving him a 4-3-7 in just six games with Colorado. Fellow newcomer Tom Ignatovich went 1-5-6 against Cheyenne, bringing his six game totals to 2-6-8 with the Jr. Eagles.
Goalie Will McEwen also joined the team two weeks ago, and got the call Friday against Cheyenne and Saturday against Superior. McEwen made 28 saves for the two victories.
The RoughRiders were able to take two of the previous four meetings between these two teams, so Saturday’s win gave Colorado bragging rights as both teams head into the playoffs.
The Mountain Division has provided some of the best hockey in the WSHL this season, and now the division crown will come down to the wire with three teams within reach of ending the season as the top team. But, it’s up to the Jr. Eagles if they want to win the season-long “King of the Mountain” between them, Utah, and Ogden.
The Jr. Eagles will travel to West Valley this weekend to take on the Outliers who currently sit tied for first with Ogden, just three points ahead of Colorado.
From there, it’s on to Ogden for the Jr. Eagles to close out the season with a possibility of ending the season as division champs.
Colorado’s eight regulation losses are the fewest in the division and their six overtime losses triple the
rest of the division’s OTLs. So, if a few bad bounces go Colorado’s way, then the top of this division could very easily be the Jr. Eagles on top with Ogden (who has played three more games) or Utah looking up.
Colorado will be playing the WSHL Series of the Week these next two weeks and those types of competitions may be just what they need with the playoffs looming.
OGDEN MUSTANGS (35-12-1, 71 pts)
Ogden picked up two needed points by beating Idaho in Sunday’s game after losing the first two to the IceCats. Unfortunately, Utah won all three of their games over the weekend and now the two teams sit tied, again, for first place in the Mountain Division. Colorado is only three points back of the two Utah teams.
The weekend finished the six-game season series between two of the top teams in the league. With every game being close – each team scored 26 goals – each team recorded a 3-2-1 record in the series.
This is important to note as Ogden and Idaho could very well face each other in the Thorne Cup Finals.
Ogden has a fight at home to worry about in the meantime. They’ve spent a majority of the season atop the division standings, until Utah caught up just a few weeks ago, and now find themselves in a position where they may depend on other teams losing in order to claim the division crown.
Three special teams goals in Saturday’s third period tied the game for Ogden, but Idaho took the win with a goal midway through the period.
The team continued to trade punches on Sunday when the Mustangs found themselves with a 4-1 lead early in the second period, but the IceCats powered back, tying the game late in the third period. The two teams went through two overtimes before Tymen Edelkoort stood tall in the shootout to give the team the win.
Matus Spodniak went 5-5-10 on the weekend bringing his season totals to 69-74-144, just five points shy of the league record for points in a season.
The Mustangs will be scoreboard watching this weekend while on the bye. Utah and Colorado will battle it out with the results having huge implications on the playoffs. With Ogden closing out their season against Colorado in two weeks, they could find themselves out of a playoff bye if things go wrong between Utah and Colorado.
SUPERIOR ROUGHRIDERS (20-24-0, 40 pts)
Superior lost their final game against Colorado, after winning two of the previous four against their in-state rivals. The RoughRiders were outshot 39-17, and goalie Marshall Murphy made 36 saves in the loss.
Erik Back assisted on Kyle Cagnoni’s fourth goal in six games with the RoughRiders after coming over from Springfield where he scored 21-20-41 in 40 games. David Waterman also earned an assist on the goal, giving him 2-5-7 in eight games with Superior.
Things got testy between these two rivals with the teams accumulating 69 PIMs between them.
Rookie Nikita Sheberov’s 53-38-91 line leads the team and is good for top-four in the Mountain Division. In fact, with Thore Weyrauch’s 30-40-70 line putting him sixth in the division, the two teammates lead the division in points for non-Ogden players. There’re no trophies for that, but still.
Sheberov was held scoreless against Colorado, but with the team facing Casper this weekend, he’ll have plenty of chances to score the two points needed to become the franchise’s all-time leader in points.
Superior has a real chance to make some waves in this year’s playoffs, with so much youth who have been playing well all year. This weekend will give them a chance to play their first-round opponents in Casper, and with the top teams in the division beating each other up for first place, a fresh RoughRiders team could jump on a worn out higher seed.
UTAH OUTLIERS (35-9-1, 71 pts)
The Utah Outliers got back on the winning track, and back to a first-place tie, after sweeping Casper this past weekend. The 25-goal output softens the blow of their previous sweep to Idaho the weekend before.
Dylan Massie went 3-5-8, Brandon Krumpshmid went 3-4-7, and Jacob Wanstrom scored a 2-4-6 line over the weekend. Benji Mickel added a hat trick on Saturday, and Jan Pixa scored a hat trick on Sunday while Zack Hoffman added three assists in the third game of the series.
Pixa now has a 7-6-13 line in just nine games with Utah.
New Outlier Eric Safstrom went 3-4-7 in his first three games with Utah. He scored a 22-37-59 line in 31 games while with the West Sound Warriors.
Casper was able to test the Utah goalies, putting 88 pucks on net, but Dawson Rodin continued his stellar season, making 59 saves in the first two games. Newcomer Cedric Lesiuer, who last played in the CPJHL, made 27 saves on Sunday for his first WSHL victory.
Krumpshmid (28-37-65) overtook Hoffman (15-48-63) for the team lead in points, and Kane Toriumi leads the team with 30 goals after scoring two goals on Friday.
The Outliers will close out their home season against a Colorado team looking to grab their own piece of the Mountain Division pie. They will then close out the regular season at Superior.
--- Tyler Whidden for Harrington Sports Media