WSHL WRAP-UP; February 22 – February 25, 2018

by Harrington Sports Media


RoughRiders sweep Coyotes in playoff preview

02.22.18 – Superior 5, Casper 2

02.23.18 – Superior 7, Casper 3

02.24.18 – Superior 4, Casper 3

02.25.18 – Superior 6, Casper 3

The Superior RoughRiders swept the Casper Coyotes in a very important four-game series in Colorado.  Superior and Casper are locked in to a Mountain Division Quarterfinal series in a few weeks.  The eight points allowed the ‘Riders to create some separation between the two teams in the standings, clinching home-ice advantage for the upcoming playoffs while at the same time giving themselves some confidence by taking the playoff preview.  Neither team is able to move up or down before the end of the regular season, setting this up to be a 4-5 seed quarterfinal series.

Thore Weyrauch scored the winning goal late in the second period and Marshall Murphy allowed just two goals on 35 shots as the RoughRiders posted a 5-2 win on Thursday.  The series opener was played as a Coyotes “home” game to make up for a postponed game from September in Casper. 

Jeff Bishop and Nikita Sheberov scored two goals apiece, and Murphy made 33 more saves, in a 7-3 Superior win on Friday.  Weyrauch picked up four assists in the game.

The Coyotes scored once in each period, tying the game up at 1-1 and 2-2, but David Waterman’s goal 8:12 into the second period gave Superior a lead they would not relinquish.

Weyrauch’s second goal of the game, with 18 seconds left in regulation, gave the RoughRiders a 4-3 win on Saturday after Superior rallied from 2-1 and 3-2 deficits.

Casper won a faceoff in their end and tried to ring it around behind their net and up the far boards, but Waterman hustled to get to the puck first and turned and fired the puck to the front of the net in one fluid motion, giving Weyrauch an opportunity to re-direct the puck up under the crossbar for the winning goal.

Casper scored all three of their goals in the second period, including Eliot Bergbauer’s tally with 25 seconds left that gave the Coyotes a 3-2 lead.

Casper’s Dylan Ossachuk made 15 of his 32 saves in the first period while Superior’s Bronson Sudberry made 21 saves to post the win.

Sheberov scored three times and L. J. Newell made 27 saves to lead Superior to a 6-3 win on Sunday to close out the grueling four-in-four series.

Casper’s Cameron Braun scored with :07 left in the first period to tie the game, 1-1, but 

the RoughRiders scored four goals in the second period – three of them in a span of 1:09 – to break the game open.  Sheberov scored the last two, giving him a hat trick 2:02 into the second period.


Ontario moves into top spot in Western Division 

02.22.18 – Ontario 6 @ Valencia 3

02.23.18 – Valencia 1 @ Ontario 6

02.24.18 – Ontario 7 @ Valencia 1

The Ontario Avalanche won three games against the Valencia Flyers over the weekend – two in Valencia and one in Ontario – and took over the top spot in the Western Division race in the process.  The Avalanche are now two points ahead of the second-place Long Beach Bombers, who hold two games in hand on the Avs.

Jesse Zaharichuk (2-2-4) figured in four of Ontario’s six goals in their 6-3 win over the Flyers on Thursday.  Zaharuchuk scored the first and last goals of the game for the Avs and Filip Subrt made 27 saves to register the win for Ontario.

Mack Willy made 38 saves for Valencia.

The two teams moved to Ontario for Friday’s contest, which was scoreless for the first 26:28 of game time, but not for lack of trying.  The two teams combined for 30 shots in goal in the first period alone, but neither Subrt nor Valencia’s Walter Martishius would give an inch.

Blake DaSilva and Alec Johnson finally scored a pair of quick goals 1:45 apart to give Ontario a 2-0 lead.  Valencia’s Jacob Yoho responded for 36 seconds after Johnson’s tally to cut the lead in half, but that was the only puck the Flyers would get past Subrt on the night as he stopped 39 of 40 shots in the game, making 30 of his saves through the first two periods.

Ontario pulled away with four goals in the third period, including Johnson’s second of the night.

Martishius finished the game with 31 saves.

Back in Valencia on Saturday, the game was again close for the first two periods, but the Avalanche scored four times in the third period to pull away for a 7-1 win.

Dylan San Agustin’s goal at 6:31 of the second period got the Flyers within a goal at 2-1, but William Ma scored in the final two minutes of the period to restore Ontario’s two-goal lead.

Nash Dabb scored twice in the third period for the Avs and Connor Duffy had to be sharp 

between the pipes for the Avs, making 31 saves.  Zachary Everett made 39 saves for Valencia and Zaharichuk (1-2-3) picked up three more points for Ontario. 


Knights extend win streak, move closer to home ice

02.23.18 – Phoenix 3, San Diego 0

02.24.18 – Phoenix 4, San Diego 2

02.25.18 – Phoenix 7, San Diego 2

The Phoenix Knights made it six-for-six on their current homestand, taking three games from a competitive San Diego Sabers team and tying the Valencia Flyers for fourth place in the Western Division.  The Knights and Flyers are on a collision course for a first-round playoff series and the team that finishes on top in the standings will have home ice advantage.  The Flyers hold four games in hand.

Ian McCollum of Phoenix scored the first goal of Friday’s game, from Zachary Kowalchuk and Andrius Bermejo, at 13:28 of the first period.

McCollum from Kowalchuk and Bermejo was again the scoring at the 8:44 mark of the second period.

Ashton Richardt added an insurance tally with 1:16 left in the game to seal the victory for Owen Petten and the Knights.

Petten needed 23 saves to record the shutout – 13 of them in a busy second period.

San Diego’s Zach Hale stopped 15 of 16 shots in the first period and ended the game with 35 saves.

It looked like the Knights had Saturday’s game in hand, leading 3-0 going into the third period thanks largely to two Anthony Masanotti goals in the second period, but the Sabers scored twice early in the third to make things interesting.  

In the first minute of play, San Diego’s Reese Fegen collected a sloppy clearing attempt in the Phoenix zone and played the puck to Isaiah Frankel who fired a hard shot high off the glass to the right of Petten.  The puck ricocheted hard out the other side of the net where Ryan Ollech knocked it into an open net before Petten could get back into position.

Just over four minutes later, David Grindstaff drove wide around a Phoenix defender and wristed the shot on net from a severe angle that eluded Petten and made it a one-goal game.

With 6:38 left, however, McCollum scored the insurance goal for the Knights, putting them back up by two goals.  A shot from the point was partially blocked, but got through to McCollom, who had gotten behind the Sabers defense.  He backhanded the bouncing puck to help it in for his third goal of the weekend.

Petten (25 saves) and the Knights ran out the clock for a 4-2 win.

San Diego goaltender Jeremiah Levitt made 46 saves in his WSHL debut, stopping 17 of 18 

shots in the opening period.

There was not as much drama in Sunday’s game.  Masanotti and Joseph Platt each scored their first of two goals in the game as the Knights built a 3-0 lead in the first period.  They built a five-goal lead by the end of the second period and cruised to a 7-2 win.

Karel Kankovsky scored both goals and Hale made 53 saves for San Diego.


IceCats look dominant in sweep of Totems

02.23.18 – Idaho 11, Seattle 0

02.24.18 – Idaho 14, Seattle 2

02.25.18 – Idaho 5, Seattle 1

With the Northwest Division title well in hand, there is not much left for the Idaho IceCats to accomplish in what is left of the regular season except to keep things firing on all cylinders before they take a two-week break.  The IceCats will close out the regular season in Bellingham next weekend.  They are idle for the last week of the regular season and will have a first-round bye.

Matthew Kindred and Alexander Westin each scored twice, Tristan Phillips (1-4-5) collected five points, and Jacob Hough posted the shutout as the IceCats rolled to an 11-0 win on Friday.

Idaho managed just one goal in the first 31:58 of game time, but added three late in the second period, and put the game away with seven in the third.

Wyatt Monear stopped 17 of 18 shots in the first period and made 36 saves overall before being lifted in the third period.

The IceCats racked up 14 goals on Saturday.  Kevin Fellows led the way with a hat trick while Phillips (2-2-4) and Martin (2-1-3) contributed a pair of goals each.  Defenseman Mason Vaughan (1-5-6) collected the most points, however.

Caleb Travis scored both Seattle goals, and it was only 3-2 Idaho after the first period, but the IceCats scored four unanswered goals in the second period and the floodgates again opened for seven more in the third.

Monear made 38 saves in Sunday’s game, keeping the IceCats off the board for the first 28:13 of the game before Casper Sjodin and Alexander Westin lit the lamp 29 seconds apart to give Idaho a 2-0 lead.

Westin added a second goal later in the period, closing out a spree of four goals in 3:55 for Idaho, and the IceCats were on their way to a 5-1 win.

Jimmy Frey scored the Seattle goal in the third period.  It was the only shot to elude Hough (12 saves) all night.


Rhinos rumble past Snipers in three straight

02.23.18 – El Paso 11, Dallas 0

02.24.18 – El Paso 7, Dallas 1

02.25.18 – El Paso 11, Dallas 0

The El Paso Rhinos cruised to a three-game sweep of the Dallas Snipers as they began a season-ending home stand that will also include their final three regular season games next week, all of their divisional playoff games and the 2018 Thorne Cup Final, which they will host.

Phillip Pugliese (3-3-6) and Jakob Kranabetter (3-2-5) both notched hat tricks in El Paso’s 11-0 win on Friday.  Kranabetter accumulated 11 points (6-5-11) on the weekend, adding to his WSHL career points record.

Jayden Ritchie had four helpers for the Rhinos, who only managed one goal in the first period, but five each in the second and third.

Manny Legace went the distance in the Dallas crease, stopping 26 of 27 shots in the first period alone, and making 50 of his 59 saves through the first two periods.

Evan Williams followed up Legace’s impressive effort with 38 saves on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Rhinos from posting a 7-1 win.

Chaseton Sare scored three goals for El Paso and assisted on Kranabetter’s second-period tally.  Pugliese dished out three assists.

Nine different El Paso skaters scored on Sunday and Kayden Pickles posted the shutout in an 11-0 Rhinos win.

Kranabetter and Carlo Wittor scored twice for El Paso and Brady Weiss made 55 saves for the Snipers.


Blazers tune up for playoffs with road sweep at Wichita

02.23.18 – Oklahoma City 9, Wichita 3

02.24.18 – Oklahoma City 8, Wichita 1

02.25.18 – Oklahoma City 14, Wichita 0

The Oklahoma City Blazers went on the road to Wichita and posted three convincing wins over the Jr. Thunder, giving them 39 victories on the season – good for third in the entire WSHL.

Griffin Wienceck had a hat trick and Ivan Bondarenko (2-2-4) picked up four points in a 9-3 OKC win on Friday.

Quinn O’Reilly, Corey Schultheis and John Tucker all found the net for Wichita and Austin Tilton made 54 saves for the Jr. Thunder.

Wienceck and Bondarenko (2-3-5) each scored twice in an 8-1 OKC win on Saturday.  Blazers goaltender Bobby Cloutier faced 15 shots, turning aside 14.

Tyler Inlow scored the Wichita goal.

Oklahoma City wrapped up the sweep with a 14-0 win on Sunday.  Vitalii Mikhailov scored four goals and Joshua Chamberlain three.  Emanuel Hertel-Bauman recorded the shutout for the Blazers.


Playoff hockey arrives early for Jr. Eagles, Outliers 

02.23.18 – Utah 3, Colorado 0

02.24.18 – Colorado 3, Utah 1

02.25.18 – Utah 3, Colorado 2 (2 OT)

The Utah Outliers opened up a four-point lead on both the Colorado Jr. Eagles and the idle Ogden Mustangs at the top of the Mountain Division by taking two of three games from the Jr. Eagles.

Three different Outliers scored – one in each period – and Dawson Rodin posted his 7th shutout of the season in a pivotal 3-0 Utah win on Friday.

Jacob Wanstrom scored 3:25 after the opening faceoff and that would be all Rodin needed.

The score stayed 1-0 until the final minute of the second period when Zach Hoffman added to Utah’s lead.

Zach Dornseifer made it 3-0 with 6:20 to go in the game.

Will McEwen made 33 saves for the Jr. Eagles and Rodin made 26 of his 30 saves through the first two periods.

Colorado responded with a 3-1 win on Saturday.  

Joseph Roach gave Colorado a 1-0 lead at 12:50 of the first period.  He separated a Utah skater from the puck just inside the Outliers’ blue line.  Sean McMahon was the first one on the loose puck and he backhanded a pass to Roach who had skated to an open spot in the slot.  Roach drove around a Utah defender and beat Rodin with a backhander for the first Jr. Eagles goal of the weekend.

Dawson Keay added one in the final minute of the first period to give Colorado some jump going into the locker room.  

Keay’s tally proved to be the winning goal as the Outliers scored the only goal of the second period and the Jr. Eagles the only goal in the third.

Braden Lajoie made 32 saves – including all 12 shots he faced in the third period – to close out a big win for Colorado.

Sunday’s rubber game went into the third period tied, 1-1.  Colorado took the lead at 8:43. A Utah defenseman attempted to play the puck around the board to his partner behind his own net, but the puck didn’t make it around and Carter Dahl was able to get there first and bring the puck  

to the front of the net.  Rodin made the initial save, but the puck bounced back past him into the net.

It did not take the Outliers long to respond, however. Just 1:23 after Dahl’s go-ahead goal, Oskars Ancitis evened things back up at 2-2.  Kane Toriumi out-muscled a Colorado defenseman in the left-wing corner, retrieved the puck and fired a centering pass to Ancitis in the high slot.  He had time to unload a hard wrist shot that beat Lajoie on the glove side.

The final 9:54 of game time went by without any further scoring and the game went to overtime.

In the second (three-on-three) overtime, Colorado made a drop pass high in the Utah zone and Dahl was unable to control it.  The puck ended up on the stick of Utah’s Erik Safstrom, who was trailing the play.  He turned up ice, out-skating Dahl the entire way, and beat Lajoie to win the game for the Outliers.

That extra point could end up being crucial in what has been an intense three-way dogfight at the top of the Mountain Division.


Four points pout Icemen back in second slot in Northwest

02.23.18 – Tahoe 5, Southern Oregon 4

02.24.18 – Tahoe 6, Southern Oregon 3

02.25.18 – Southern Oregon 6, Tahoe 2

The Tahoe Icemen are in a heated battle with the Bellingham Blazers for second place in the Northwest Division – and the first-round bye that goes with it.  The six points they picked up by winning two of three games at Southern Oregon gave them a two-point lead on Bellingham, which played and won just once this weekend, and holds three games in hand on Tahoe.

Friday’s game went into the third period tied, 3-3.  Tahoe pulled out a 5-4 win with Paul Frys (3-2-5) figuring in all five goals.

With the Icemen on the power play a shot from high in the zone went over the glass, but deflected off a Spartans stick so the faceoff stayed in the Southern Oregon zone.  Frys won the faceoff, then moved to the left-wing circle.  He got the puck back, held it for a few seconds, then moved it up to Phil Heisse at the blue line.  Heisse moved it quickly to Danylo Moroz in the right-wing circle for a one-timer that beat Spartans goaltender Austin Toussaint to the glove side.

The Spartans pulled Toussaint for the extra attacker, but Frys added an empty-net goal with 23 seconds left to put the finishing touches on his hat trick and five-point night.  It also put him at the century mark for the season (41-59-100), making him the 8th WSHL player to hit the 100-point mark this season.

Hayden Moistner had a hat trick for the Spartans, including the final scoring of the night with 1.7 seconds left on the clock – too little to late for Southern Oregon.

With Saturday’s game tied, 3-3, late in the second period, the Spartans went on a five-minute power play but were unable to convert and it came back to haunt them.

In the final minute of the period, with Tahoe now on the power play, Icemen forward Mitch Hunt carried the puck behind the Spartans net but, before going behind it, centered the puck to Frys in the slot and he buried a wrister to Krystof Holub’s stick side to make it 4-3 Tahoe.  

The Spartans were not able to recover and fell, 6-3.

Southern Oregon finished strong on Sunday, however, as Joel Holmberg, Yanneck Kumli and Miroslav Smid all scored twice in a 6-2 Spartans win.  Kumli also had a pair of assists in the game and Toussaint stopped 43 of 45 shots – including all 19 he faced in the second period.

Frys and Tanner Turcotte scored for the Icemen.


Bellingham’s Pawlick shuts out West Sound

02.23.18 – Bellingham 5, West Sound 0

Tyrae Fountain scored twice and Kolter Pawlick registered a 26-save shutout for the Bellingham Blazers in a 5-0 win over the West Sound Warriors on Friday.

It was the only game of the week for Bellingham, so they watched as the Tahoe Icemen passed them in the Northwest Division standings by two points, but the Blazers still hold three games in hand on Tahoe in the race for the all-important second place spot in the division standings.

Bellingham out-shot West Sound, 14-8, in a scoreless first period with Pawlick and West Sound’s Kristof Dobos stopping everything.

The Blazers got to Dobos three times in the second period, however.  Fountain scored his first a little over a minute after Ruslan Novruzov broke the ice 7:20 in.  Jamahl Eakett made it 3-0 with a back-breaker in the final mimute of the period.

Connar Peers also scored for the Blazers.