WSHL WEEKLY NOTES 10.18.17 – MOUNTAIN DIVISION
CASPER COYOTES (3-2-0, 6pts)
The Casper Coyotes took advantage of Wichita’s early-season woes, outscoring the Jr. Thunder 27-1 in a three-game sweep.
Bradley Green scored a hat trick with Cameron Cross assisting on all three goals in Friday’s 8-0 win. Though lopsided on the scoreboard, the game still saw 47 PIMs with the Coyotes earning 31.
Green (5-1-6) and Cross (2-5-7) led the way against Wichita during the series. Green’s six goals leads the team as do Cross’ eight points.
Luke Sotlar needed to make just 22 saves in a pair of shutouts, but answered the bell when tested.
There were 130 PIMs between the two teams over the course of three games.
The Coyotes were coming off a two-week break, and keep at it against Mountain Division rivals Utah at home this weekend.
The Coyotes will be hosting their annual Pink the Rink fundraiser weekend against the Outliers.
For more information and photos from the Wichita series, visit the team’s facebook page @CasperCoyotesOfficial.
CHEYENNE STAMPEDE (2-8-0, 4pts)
George Leech and Taylor Jolly scored the lone goals for Cheyenne on a weekend that saw the Stampede swept by Mountain Division rival Ogden.
The Stampede just couldn’t get any pucks on net in this series and spent an inordinate amount of time in their own end. Cheyenne faces off with Colorado this weekend in a chance to get back in gear.
Cheyenne has a young roster that is still feeling its way in junior hockey. A prime example is 16-year-old forward Evgenii Bastrakov, WSHL 365’s Player of the Week two weeks ago after scoring five goals in three games against Wichita.
Another 16-year-old, forward George Leech, lit the lamp in consecutive games recently and is one of six 2000 birth dates on the roster.
This young group is demanding patience from the Stamps faithful right now, but has the potential to reward that patience as they gain experience.
COLORADO EAGLES (8-1-2, 18pts)
The Colorado Jr. Eagles continue to win close games, with two games going into extra frames en-route to a three-game sweep of Springfield.
On Friday, the Jr. Eagles recovered after allowing the tying goal with 15 seconds remaining in the third period, eventually winning the game thanks to a Carter Dahl snipe mid-way through the first OT. Seven different skaters scored for the Eagles and Braden Lajoie did what he does best, making 26 saves.
Colorado jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Saturday, but needed three unanswered goals to win the game after Springfield scored four straight. Veteran Vincent Mastrandrea scored the game-tying goal in the final minutes of the third period, then scored the unassisted game winner midway through the second overtime.
Dahl leads the team with an 8-7-15 line in the first eleven games, and eight players now have double-digit points.
Braden Lajoie leads the team with five wins and a sharp .911 save percentage.
Next up for Colorado is a trip to Wyoming to take on the Cheyenne Stampede, a team they shut out in two games last month.
OGDEN MUSTANGS (8-3-0, 16pts)
Ogden showed no mercy against a Cheyenne team that is adjusting to the new season with new players and coaches, sweeping the Stampede decisively.
Every Mustang skater scored a point over the weekend with veteran Matus Spodniak’s 8-11-17 leading the way for Ogden.
Friday’s 19 goals scored were a franchise record, then, thanks to three players potting hat tricks (Harry Gulliver, Ross Bartlett, Anton Karlsson) on Saturday, they broke the record again with 20 goals.
Spodniak now leads the WSHL with a 16-22-38 line on the year. Spods isn’t alone up top with no less than six Mountain Division skaters in the league’s top-seven scorers including fellow Stangs Ross Bartlett (11-19-30), Jacob Laurin (10-20-30), and Matt McClelland (10-13-23).
The goal everyone is talking about Spodniak’s the over-the-net pass that was literally caught by McClelland’s glove, dropped than backhanded top-shelf. You can see the GIF of the goal on the Mustang twitter @OgdenMustangs.
Ogden travels to Southern Oregon to take on the Northwest Division Spartans this weekend.
SUPERIOR ROUGHRIDERS (7-3-0, 14pts)
Superior fell in a close game Friday, but stayed strong and took the next two games for a 2-1 series win against the Mid-Western Division’s Dallas Snipers.
The RoughRiders are blowing up in the early going, with four rookies leading the team in points.
Nikita Sheberov (17-14-31), Thore Weyrauch (10-14-24), Chase Taleghani (2-10-12), and defenseman Daniel Benilov (4-7-11) scoring for a Rider team averaging 5.7 goals a game.
Sheberov continued his hot start with a 4-6-10 line in three games against Dallas, and Thore Weyrauch added a 4-7-11 line against the Snipers.
Superior will take on another Mid-Western team when they face the Oklahoma City Blazers this weekend. The Blazers have been off for a few weeks and are no doubt itching to get back on the ice, so Superior will have a challenge ahead of them.
But, if the Riders can continue to play the way they’ve been playing, it could go a long way to prove they belong at the top of the league’s toughest division.
Superior hosted a Pups ‘n Pucks night – photos can be found on their Instagram at @spr_roughriders
UTAH OUTLIERS (5-3-0, 10pts)
The Utah Outliers played outside of their division, sweeping the Northwest Division’s Southern Oregon Spartans in three games. The eight goals scored in each of Saturday and Sunday’s games were the most Utah has scored all year.
The Outliers are looking to get off to a faster start than last season, in hopes of sticking with the competition earlier than they did last year when it took one of the hottest months for a WSHL team for the Outliers to get into playoff consideration.
Four Outliers scored three or more points Friday and Dylan Massie assisted on three goals while also racking up 17 minutes in penalties. Overall, Friday saw 93 penalties between the two clubs.
Goalie Otto Saxin earned the victory on Friday in his first game of the year, and the Outliers scored three powerplay goals and added a shorthanded tally in the 6-1 win.
Cooler heads prevailed on Saturday, and Utah ran away with the 8-0 shutout victory behind Alex McClosky’s 2-2-4 and outshooting the Spartans 48-10.
Zach Hoffman now leads the team with a 4-11-15 line and Dawson Rodin leads the impressive trio of backstops with a .942 SV% on the year.
Utah is off to the kind of start coach Paul Taylor was hoping for, winning five of their first eight games with upcoming dates against division rivals Casper and Ogden.
After the division tests, Utah faces off with Southern Oregon again, so by this time next month, don’t be surprised if the Outliers are on the inside track of first place within the Mountain Division.
--- Tyler Whidden for Harrington Sports Media