WSHL WRAP-UP; December 14 – December 17, 2017

by Scott Harrington

IDAHO ICECATS @ TAHOE ICEMEN

Tahoe impressive in series against Idaho

12.14.17 – Idaho 3, Tahoe 2

12.15.17 – Tahoe 4, Idaho 3 (2 OT)

12.16.17 – Idaho 9, Tahoe 4

The Tahoe Icemen played even with the Idaho IceCats for the first two games of their series, picking up a win in the process.  Idaho took the rubber game on Sunday, but it was a great showing by the Icemen as they prepare to head into the Western States Shootout.

Following a scoreless first period, Anton Metelev and Lance Herning scored second period goals to give Idaho the lead.

Idaho was still leading, 2-0, midway through the third period on Friday when the Icemen scored a pair of goals in a span of 2:04 to tie things up.  Danylo Moroz and Paul Frys scored to get Tahoe even.

Russell Haren scored with 3:54 left in the third period to put the IceCats back in front and goaltender Tyler Matthews made it stand up.  He finished the game with 30 saves.

Wade Conlan made 39 saves for Tahoe – 28 of them over the final two periods.

Tahoe goaltender Lanny Blitt was the story in Saturday’s game.  Idaho out-shot Tahoe, 50-18, through the first two periods, but Blitt turned aside 49 of the 50 shots and the Icemen led, 3-1.

The Icemen seemed to gain confidence from Blitt’s heroics and the disparity in shots on goal narrowed in the third period.  The Icemen were still leading with just over six minutes left in regulation when Herning scored his second goal of the game to get the IceCats within one.

Two and a half minutes later, Rei Kikuchi scored to tie the game, 3-3, and it ended up going to overtime.

The first (four-on-four) overtime didn’t settle anything, so it went to three-on-three.  It looked like the game was headed to a shootout, but Tahoe’s Ilja Cetvertak scored with 33 seconds left on the clock and gave the Icemen possibly the biggest win in franchise history.

Blitt finished the game with an incredible 73 saves, getting the win over Idaho’s Jacob Hough (28 saves).

Idaho did not let the frustration of Saturday’s game carry forward.  They came out on Sunday and scored three goals in each period, cruising to a 9-4 win.

Terry Ryder scored a hat trick for the IceCats and Andreas Otto picked up three assists.

OKLAHOMA CITY BLAZERS @ SPRINGFIELD EXPRESS

Blazers go into Springfield and take two from Express

12.15.17 – Oklahoma City 5, Springfield 1

12.16.17 – Oklahoma City 5, Springfield 4 (OT)

The Oklahoma City Blazers won a pair of games in Springfield, needing overtime to win the second one, and head into the Western States Shootout with a record of 23-3-0.

Springfield’s Bruno Ndossi broke the ice 6:51 into Friday’s game, and the Express held the advantage in shots on goal in each period, but they could not find the net again.  Oklahoma City tied the game by the end of the first period, then scored two unanswered goals in each of the last two frames for a 5-1 win.

Lukas Slansky scored a pair of goals for the Blazers and Bobby Cloutier stopped 32 of 33 shots to lead OKC to victory.

Saturday’s game was an overtime thriller.  Nikita Sokov scored for the Express with 30 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, 4-4, and send it to OT.

Springfield’s jubilation didn’t last, however, as 1:32 into sudden death Oklahoma City’s Cody Wardner scored on a wraparound to give the Blazers the win. 

Ivan Bondarenko scored twice for the Blazers and Arkhip Ledenkov had a goal and two assists for the Express.

Kayne Pasquet made 40 saves in the game for Springfield, including stopping all 16 shots he faced in the first period.

SEATTLE TOTEMS @ SOUTHERN OREGON SPARTANS

Spartans, Totems prep for showcase with two-game series

12.15.17 – Southern Oregon 6, Seattle 3

12.16.17 – Southern Oregon 2, Seattle 1

The Southern Oregon Spartans continued their improved play as of late, topping the rival Seattle Totems in a pair of games prior to packing their bags for Las Vegas.

The Spartans scored four times in the third period to pull away for a 6-3 win on Friday.  Yanneck Kumli scored two goals and assisted on two others while Joel Holmberg picked up a goal and three assists.

Seattle’s Wyatt Monear kept the Totems in the game as long as he could, stopping 27 of 29 shots through the first two periods, but the dam broke in the third period.  He finished with 41 saves.

Southern Oregon’s Austin Toussaint made 21 saves to pick up the win.

Both teams looked like they were in top form for the upcoming league showcase, playing a tight-checking game.  Holmberg and Miroslav Smid scored for the Spartans in the first period and Toussaint made it hold up, making 10 of his 18 saves in the second period.

Mitch Hunt made things interesting, scoring 12 seconds into the third period to get Seattle within a goal, but Toussaint and the Spartans were able to protect the one goal lead for the final 19:48.

Naoki Onondera had a strong game for the Totems, making 29 saves, but was the tough-luck loser.

SUPERIOR ROUGHRIDERS @ CHEYENNE STAMPEDE

RoughRiders head into the showcase on a high note

12.15.17 – Superior 10, Cheyenne 2

The Superior RoughRiders threw a balanced attack at Cheyenne on Friday night, peppering the Stampede net with 62 shots and seeing eight players pick up multiple points in a 10-2 win.

Nikita Sheberov (2-1-3) and Yaroslav Velikopolskiy scored two goals each for the ‘Riders.  Thore Weyrauch and Austin Tautfest each had a goal and two assists.

Marshall Murphy tended the Superior crease, allowing just two goals on 23 shots.  Anthony Russo and Nicholas Lamme scored the Cheyenne goals.

COLORADO JR. EAGLES @ CHEYENNE STAMPEDE

Bancroft, Jr. Eagles shut out Stampede

12.16.17 – Colorado 6, Cheyenne 0

The Colorado Jr. Eagles put 79 shots in the Cheyenne net Saturday night, but recent acquisition Daniel Yockey stopped 73 of them, going the distance in the Stampede net and keeping the score respectable.

Yockey made 29 saves in the second period alone – allowing just two goals in the frame.

At the other end of the rink, Colorado’s Hunter Bancroft handled all 14 shots he faced to post the shutout.

David Mitchell scored twice for the Jr. Eagles and Trent Hines picked up four assists.

ONTARIO AVALANCHE @ SAN DIEGO SABERS

Avalanche pushed by Sabers, but pick up sweep

12.15.17 – Ontario 6, San Diego 4

12.16.17 – Ontario 8, San Diego 5

12.17.17 – Ontario 4, San Diego 3 (2 OT)

The Ontario Avalanche have posted wins against division leaders Long Beach and Valencia in recent weeks, and the San Diego Sabers are still stuck on one win this season, but the Sabers gave the visitors a run for their money in San Diego this weekend, scoring a dozen goals and picking up a point in the standings by getting Sunday’s game to overtime.

The Avalanche jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period of Friday’s game, but the Sabers kept working and pulled to within a goal on two occasions before losing, 6-4.  San Diego out-shot Ontario, 14-8, in the third period, creating some momentum that they would keep building on through the series.

Ontario seemed to be in control, leading, 5-2 late in the game, but Brett Lisoway and Brad Larson scored to get the Sabers within a goal with 2:45 left in the game.  It was the second goal of the game for Larson.

San Diego was unable to get the equalizer past Ontario netminder Anthony Barba (25 saves), however, and fell just short.

Joseph Aguirre scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, late in the second period for the Avs, allowing them to open up a three-goal lead.

San Diego netminder Ben Greenlee made 26 saves.

Ontario won again on Saturday, but the Sabers continued to show they could generate offense, scoring five times over the last two periods in an 8-5 loss.

Christian Rodgers’ goal 2:03 into the second period gave the Avalanche a 4-0 lead that proved to be too much for the Sabers to overcome.

Alex Bouchard had two goals and an assist for Ontario and Nash Dabb collected four assists.

San Diego’s Michal Kolarik scored twice in the second period and added a third for a hat trick.  Karel Kankovsky matched Dabb’s four-assist effort.

Ontario’s Connor Duffy (25 saves) was the winning goaltender.

The Sabers kept coming at the visiting Avalanche on Sunday and, while they did not come away with the win, they were rewarded with one point for a 4-3 double-overtime loss.

Jesse Zaharichuk scored 3:47 into the third period to break a 2-2 tie and give Ontario the lead.  Just 46 seconds later, San Diego’s Riley Cryan tied things back up, and the rest of regulation went by without any scoring.

Greenlee (33 saves) and Duffy (14 saves after entering the game in the second period), matched each other save for save over the final 15:37 of regulation.

The Sabers out-shot the Avs, 3-1, in a scoreless first OT, sending it to double-overtime and three-on-three play.  William Ma ended it and completed the sweep for Ontario 2:48 into the second OT.  It was Ma’s second goal of the game.  He also contributed an assist.

--- compiled by Scott Harrington/Harrington Sports Media