WSHL WRAP-UP; December 7 – December 10, 2017

by Scott Harrington

LONG BEACH BOMBERS @ VALENCIA

Bombers post comeback win over Flyers, open up 10-point lead

12.08.17 – postponed

12.09.17 – Long Beach 6, Valencia 5

Both the Long Beach Bombers and the host Valencia Flyers received a dose of perspective when the California wildfires caused the postponement of Friday’s game. 

The two teams were able to resume action Saturday and the Bombers rallied from a 5-3 third-period deficit to win, 6-5, giving them a 10-point lead atop the Western Division.

Valencia’s Jason Hickman scored the lone goal of the first period, but things opened up in the second frame with both teams scoring three times.  Hickman scored his second of the game for the Flyers during the spree and Artem Korolev notched his first of three for the Bombers.

Nikita Pintusov scored 1:07 into the third period to give Valencia a 5-3 lead, but Long Beach responded with a pair of goals 2:45 apart from William Wiman and Korolev.

Korolev completed his hat trick with 2:32 left in regulation to make it 6-5 Long Beach and the Bombers and Domenic Bosetti (32 saves) closed it out for a crucial road win in the Western Division race.

ONTARIO AVALANCHE @ FRESNO MONSTERS

Avalanche take two from Fresno, close in on Monsters

12.08.17 – Ontario 8, Fresno 2

12.09.17 – Ontario 4, Fresno 2

The Ontario Avalanche moved with a point of the Fresno Monsters in the Western Division standings by sweeping four points from them in Fresno.  The Avalanche have three games in hand on the Monsters.

The Avalanche came out guns blazin’ in Friday’s series opener, scoring five times in the first period and rolling to an 8-2 road win.

The first four goals came in a span of 7:48. Jesse Zaharichuk was in the middle of the scoring all night long.  He had a goal and two assists in the first period, then added three more points – two goals and an assist – in a span of 7:26 in the second period.  He finished with a hat trick and a six-point game.

All of the scoring took place in the first two periods.  Ontario out-shot Fresno, 11-9, in a scoreless third period.

Joseph Aguirre had four assists and Filip Subrt stopped 25 of 27 shots in the game for the Avs.

Ontario kept things rolling on Saturday.  Fresno carried a 2-1 lead into the third period, but William Ma scored three times in the final frame for a 4-2 Avalanche win.

Subrt stopped all 12 shots he faced in the third period as the Avs were making their comeback, finishing the game with 34 saves.

Adam Polomsky and Cody Key scored for the Monsters, who got 31 saves from Adam Barvik.

OKLAHOMA CITY BLAZERS @ EL PASO RHINOS

Rhinos sweep previously unbeaten Blazers

12.08.17 – El Paso 7, Oklahoma City 2

12.09.17 – El Paso 4, Oklahoma City 1

12.10.17 – El Paso 6, Oklahoma City 1

The final two undefeated teams remaining in the WSHL went head to head in El Paso over the weekend and the host Rhinos made a pretty strong argument that they are the top team in the league by sweeping all three games from their previously unbeaten guests.

The second period of Friday’s series opener began with the score tied, 1-1, but the Rhinos scored three unanswered goals in the second to take a 4-1 lead.

Oklahoma City did not roll over, getting the first goal of the third period to get within two, but El Paso responded with three more goals to win, 7-2.

Philip Pugliese (2-1-3) and John Erramouspe each scored a pair of goals for the Rhinos and Filip Krasanovsky stopped 18 of 20 shots.

OKC netminder Bobby Cloutier made 30 of his 37 saves in the first 40 minutes of the game while Travis Hudek and Michael Jensen scored the Blazers goals.

Rhinos fans were treated to a fantastic junior hockey game on Saturday as El Paso grinded out a 4-1 home win.  It was 2-1 Rhinos going into the third period, but the Blazers could not get the equalizer past Krasanovsky (25 saves) who held the fort while Chaseton Sare was adding a pair of insurance goals for El Paso.

Connor Dunn scored the OKC goal in the first period and Cloutier did a good job between the pipes, making 36 saves to give his team a chance.

Sunday’s series finale was again a pretty competitive affair, scoreless for the first 17:51 of the game before El Paso broke the ice, and with only one goal scored in the final 29:36 of game time.

In between there was some excitement for the rowdy El Paso fans, however, as the Rhinos scored four times in a span of 4:43 early in the second period.  That was the difference in a 6-1 El Paso win.

Sare scored the first two goals of the game, and added the final one in the third period to finish off a hat trick.  Krasanovsky was rarely tested, allowing just one goal on 12 shots.  OKC’s Drake Johnson was the only player to beat him, midway through the second period.

Cloutier was peppered with 27 shots in the opening frame, stopping 26 of them, and his busy weekend came to a close when he was lifted in the second period.  Eric Schmidley (19 saves) tended the Blazers crease for the remaining of the game.

SOUTHERN OREGON SPARTANS @ IDAHO ICECATS

Spartans show well against IceCats in McCall

12.08.17 – Idaho 4, Southern Oregon 0

12.09.17 – Idaho 3, Southern Oregon 1

12.10.17 – Idaho 5, Southern Oregon 2

The Idaho IceCats are clearly the team to beat in the Northwest Division and, although the Southern Oregon Spartans were not able to take any points out of their three-game series, they acquitted themselves quite well, putting up a fight in every game and making the IceCats work 180 minutes to secure the six points.  It was a very promising showing for the Spartans.

Southern Oregon kept Friday’s game close but, ultimately, were not able to generate any offense in a 4-0 loss.  Idaho scored three times in the first period, but Austin Toussaint stopped 23 of 24 shots over the final two periods and ended the game with 35 saves.

Idaho’s Tyler Matthews stopped all nine shots he faced in the second period and ended the game with 13 saves and a shutout – his third of the season.

Matthew Kindred, Andreas Otto and Hunter Lester scored for the IceCats in the opening frame.  Jacob Hedencrona added the final tally in the final five minutes of the game.

Saturday’s game ended up being the most exciting of the weekend.  Southern Oregon netminder Krystof Holub made 30 saves – allowing just one goal in each period – and the Spartans stayed in the game right to the end before falling short, 3-1.

Lester, Quinn Martin and Dustin Truex scored the Idaho goals in the first, second and third periods, respectively while Yanneck Kumli scored the Spartans goal in the second period, beating Jacob Hough (11 saves).

Five different IceCats scored and Idaho held Southern Oregon to 11 shots in goal in a 5-2 win on Sunday.

Idaho’s Kevin Fellows broke the ice just 36 seconds into the contest, but the Spartans answered two minutes later with a goal from Kumli.

Blake Nelson put Idaho ahead, 2-1, before the end of the first period and second-period goals from Lance Herning and Russell Haren extended that lead to three goals.

Idaho’s Roman Tintera and Southern Oregon’s Jakub Mecir traded goal in the third period for the 5-2 final.

DALLAS SNIPERS @ WICHITA JR. THUNDER

Dallas takes series on road, but Wichita snaps losing streak

12.08.17 – Dallas 12, Wichita 1

12.09.17 – Dallas 8, Wichita 1

12.10.17 – Wichita 6, Dallas 2

The Dallas Snipers took two of three games in Wichita, solidifying their fourth-place standing in the Mid-Western Division, but the Jr. Thunder snapped a 16-game losing streak on Sunday.

Jaroslav Vasicek (3-2-5) scored a hat trick and Alex Hladonik (2-3-5) matched his five-point output in a 12-1 Dallas win on Friday.  Eric Eaton (1-3-4) and Sterling Cooper (0-4-4) also joined in the party as the Snipers scored four times in each period.

Despite the lopsided score, the Jr. Thunder generated 43 shots on goal.  Evan Williams allowed just one of them to get by him – a tremendous performance.  At the other end of the rink, Wichita’s Connor Green made 45 saves.

Quinn O’Reilly scored the Jr. Thunder goal midway through the third period.

The Snipers took a 4-0 lead in the first period Saturday and cruised from there to an 8-1 win.  Vasicek led the way with five points (1-4-5) while Hladonik (2-2-4) and Cooper (1-3-4) added four.

John Tucker scored with 25 seconds left in the game to ruin the shutout bid of Dallas netminder Rafael Gonclaves, who stopped the first 27 shots he faced.

Green made 41 saves for the Jr. Thunder.

Maybe it was the 11:00 a.m. puck drop, but the Snipers legs were not where they needed to be and the Jr. Thunder snapped their losing skid on Sunday. 

Wichita found their scoring touch early, lighting the lamp three times in the first period and building on the confidence they gained from that, going on to a 6-2 win.  Austin Tilton kicked out 38 of 40 shots and Tyler Inlow (2-2-4) figured in four of the six Wichita goals.

It was actually Dallas that broke the ice – just 30 seconds into the game.  That is something that could snowball on a struggling team, but the Jr. Thunder did not hang their heads, pushing back with the next three goals.

Erich Polacik and Sterling Cooper scored for Dallas.

UTAH OUTLIERS vs. OGDEN MUSTANGS (home-and-home)

Outliers closing in on Mountain Division lead after taking two from Mustangs

12.08.17 – Utah 4 @ Ogden 3

12.09.17 – Ogden 1 @ Utah 6

Thing are really getting interesting at the top of the Mountain Division standings.  The Utah Outliers took both ends of a home-and-home series from the Ogden Mustangs, moving to within three points of the first-place Mustangs with three games in hand.

The Outliers went into Ogden and won on Friday, scoring three times in the second period – two of them in a span of 25 seconds – to go up 4-1.  They withstood a Mustangs rally in the third period for a 4-3 win.

Utah led, 1-0, after the first period on a Jacob Wanstrom goal.  Jacob Laurin tied things up for Ogden 4:15 into the second period, but about seven minutes later Gianni Vitali and Brandon Krumpschmid scored two quick ones to make it 3-1 Outliers.  Krumpschmid struck again two minutes later to give Utah a three-goal lead.

Ogden got one of the goals back before the end of the period when Sage Fleming found the net, but Utah’s Dawson Rodin (27 saves) stymied them for almost the remainder of the game.

Matt McClelland, who assisted on the first two Mustangs goals, scored himself with 1:24 left on the clock to make things tense at the end, but Rodin and the Outliers closed it out to post an impressive road win.

At the County Ice Center in Murray, Utah on Saturday, the Outliers posted an impressive 6-1 win.  Ogden carried the play all night, out-shooting Utah in all three periods and 44-22 for the game, but Rodin was the different in the Outliers net.  The Swede turned aside 43 of 44 shots, frustrating the prolific Mustangs offense at every turn.  Laurin scored the lone Ogden goal in the second period.

Wanstrom figured in four of the Utah goals, scoring two himself and assisting on two more.  Vitali (2-1-3) also scored a pair for the Outliers.

Ogden out-shot Utah, 18-5, in the first period but trailed, 1-0, on Wanstrom’s first of the night.  The Outliers increased their lead to two goals in the second period, then scored three unanswered in the third to pull away.  Utah held the Mustangs to fewer shots in each frame (18, 15, 11).

SUPERIOR ROUGHRIDERS vs. CHEYENNE STAMPEDE (home-and-home)

RoughRiders solidify Mountain Division standing by sweeping Stampede

12.08.17 – Superior 11 @ Cheyenne 4

12.09.17 – Cheyenne 0 @ Superior 6

The Superior RoughRiders look like a pretty sure bet to finish fourth in the Mountain Division.  Their home-and-home sweep of rival Cheyenne gave them a 10-point lead over fifth-place Casper, but they trail third-place Colorado by seven points with the Jr. Eagles holding two games in hand.

The RoughRiders went into Cheyenne on Friday and erupted for six third-period goals in an 11-4 win.  Nikita Sheberov scored four goals and assisted on three others for a seven-point night. Thore Weyrauch (2-2-4) also had a multi-goal game for Superior.

Logan Syrup continued to be a catalyst for the Cheyenne offense, scoring a hat trick for the Stampede.

Devin Bain was a workhorse in the Cheyenne net, making 51 saves – 26 of them in the second period alone.

Cheyenne generated 40 shots on net Saturday night in Superior, but L. J. Newell stopped all 40 and Weyrauch scored four times in a 6-0 RoughRiders win.

The first period was a tight 20 minutes of hockey with the shots 14-10 Superior and Weyrauch’s first of the night the only score.  The ‘Riders started to take over in the second period, with Weyrauch scoring two more for a natural hat trick.

Weyrauch added his fourth of the game with 2:38 left in the contest, closing out the scoring.  Zane Marshman and Erik Back scored the other Superior goals.

WEST SOUND WARRIORS vs. BELLINGHAM BLAZERS (home-and-home)

Blazers, Warriors continue to build on their rivalry

12.08.17 – West Sound 3 at Bellingham 4 (2 OT)

12.10.17 – Bellingham 0 at West Sound 0

The Bellingham Blazers took a pair of games from their rivals from across the water in West Sound, winning close games in both cities in a home-and-home series.

West Sound had leads of 2-1 and 3-2 on the road Friday, but were not able to close the game out and the game had to be decided in overtime.  Bellingham’s Timothy Prexler tied the game up 2:08 into the third period and the two teams went at it for the final 17:52 of regulation without scoring.

Bellingham’s Edward Coffey made 25 of his 33 saves in the second and third periods.  Brian Eisele of West Sound matched his 33 saves but let the last shot of the game, by Bellingham’s Dane Halstead, get past him for the sudden death game-winner.  The Blazers out-shot the Warriors, 5-0, in overtime.

Thomas Steven scored twice for the Blazers and Caleb Travis dented the twine twice for the Warriors.

The Blazers rested their legs after the double-overtime affair while the Warriors were battling through another tight game in Seattle Saturday night.

The Blazers and Warriors met back up Sunday afternoon in West Sound and played another entertaining game.  Bellingham scored the first three goals of the game, then West Sound got the next three to tie it up, then the Blazers notched three more in a row to go up 6-3 before settling for a 6-4 win.

They entered the third period tied 3-3 but the Blazers, possibly with fresher legs in the third period, scored the first three goals of the final frame.

Ruslan Novruzov broke a 3-3 tie at 7:48 of the third period.  Steven’s second goal of the game, just 1:09 later, gave them some breathing room at 5-3.  Ilya Abubakirov, who figured in all three Blazers goals in the third period and finished the game with four points (1-3-4), scored in the final two minutes.

WEST SOUND WARRIORS @ SEATTLE TOTEMS

Warriors deal Totems tough loss in Northwest Division race

12.09.17 – West Sound 7, Seattle 5

The West Sound Warriors and Seattle Totems engaged in a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair for the first two periods at Olympicview Arena Saturday night, with the visiting Warriors scoring six of the game’s first 11 goals, then the division rivals settled in for a tight-checking third period.

Erik Safstrom’s second goal of the game for West Sound was the only goal of the final frame and provided the Warriors some insurance in a 7-5 win.  With the two points, the Warriors moved into a tie with the Tahoe Icemen for second place in the Northwest Division.

Brian Eisele, who entered the game in relief of starter Robbie Brennan, shut out the Totems in the third period to pick up the win.

Seattle led, 5-3, after scoring three times in a span of 1:27 early in the second period.  Michael Sippee provided the second and third goals of that outburst, and also had an assist in the game.

Mitch Hunt and Tom Ignatovich each had three assists for the Totems.

Bryce Ebert matched Safstrom’s two-goal output for West Sound.

--- compiled by Scott Harrington/Harrington Sports Media