WSHL WRAP-UP; February 8 – February 11, 2018

by Harrington Sports Media


Monsters one point out of second place after sweep of Sabers

02.08.18 – Fresno 6, San Diego 2

02.09.18 – Fresno 12, San Diego 0

02.10.18 – Fresno 7, San Diego 3

The Fresno Monsters swept six points from the sixth-place San Diego Sabers to move within a point of second place in the Western Division.  The Monsters were tied with Valencia entering the weekend, but now have a five-point lead on the fourth-place Flyers.

San Diego’s David Grindstaff broke the ice 5:21 into Friday night’s contest, and that was the only scoring in the first period, but Fresno scored the next six goals – three in the second and three in the third – and rolled to a 6-2 win.

Deivids Tempelmanis scored all three third period goals in a span of 6:59. Cody Key (1-4-5) figured in five of six goals for the Monsters and 60-goal scorer Daylon Mannon turned playmaker, dishing out four helpers as well.

Fresno’s Kyle Franceschini stopped 26 of 28 shots in the game while San Diego’s Zach Hale made 32 saves at the other end.

The Monsters started stronger on Saturday, scoring three times in the first period, then shifted into another gear with six goals in the second frame on their way to a 12-0 win.

Mannon scored four goals and assisted on four others for an eight-point game.  Key added six points (1-5-6) while Logan Domagala and Kevin Szeghalmi each had three assists.

Tempelmanis added two more goals and Max Karlenzig stopped all 25 shots the Sabers sent his way.

Fresno wrapped up the sweep with a 7-3 win on Saturday.

The Monsters took a 1-0 lead in the first period, and a 2-1 lead in the second, but the Sabers tied the game back up each time.  

Tempelmanis kept up his productive weekend, scoring a goal in the final minute of the second period, and another 1:09 into the third, to give Fresno their first two-goal lead of the game, 4-2.

Grindstaff got San Diego back within a goal 2:20 later, but the Monsters scored the last three goals of the game for a 7-3 win.  Fresno out-shot San Diego 21-5 in the final period.

Mannon and Key, who sit 2-3 in the WSHL scoring race, each contributed a goal and three assists.


Phoenix sweeps Valencia, closes to within four points of Flyers

02.09.18 – Phoenix 5, Valencia 2

02.10.18 – Phoenix 5, Valencia 3

02.11.18 – Phoenix 5, Valencia 4 (2 OT)

The Valencia Flyers dropped three games on the road in their first series after unloading a number of veteran players in trades.  And it was the Phoenix Knights, the team directly behind them in the standings, that took six points from them – closing the gap between the two teams in the Western Division standings to just four points.

The Knights scored three times in the third period to win Friday’s game, 5-2.  Jacob Ulestig scored to get the Flyers within a goal at 3-2 with 4:48 left in the game, and it looked like Valencia might come back, but Ian McCollum – who also had a pair of assists in the game – responded less than a minute later to restore the two-goal lead for Phoenix.

Justin Gusso added an insurance goal with 1:25 remaining and the Knights had a 5-2 win.

Phoenix netminder Owen Petten stopped 21 of 22 shots through the first two periods and ended the night with 24 saves, while Andrius Bermejo matched McCollum’s 1-2-3 output.

Mack Willy made 36 saves and Matthew Reyes had a pair of assists for the Flyers.

With Saturday’s game tied, 3-3, and the two teams playing four-on-four, Bermejo made an end-to-end rush, evading a forechecker in his own end, lugging the puck through the neutral zone, then stickhandling through three Flyers to flip the puck past Valencia netminder Zachary Everett and give Phoenix a 4-3 lead with 10:31 left.

At the end of the game, with Everett pulled for the extra attacker, the Flyers controlled the puck for about a minute, but were unable to generate many shots.  A Daniel Klinecky shot from the point was blocked and McCollum chased the puck down in the neutral zone, skated down the ice, and dumped the puck into the empty net to seal the win for the Knights, 5-3.

Four times Phoenix took a one-goal lead in Sunday’s game and four times the Flyers scored the next goal to tie the game.

Flyers defenseman Matthew Reyes scored with 2:20 left in regulation to tie it up, 4-4, and that’s the way it went into overtime.  After several failed breakout attempts by Valencia, Reyes collected the puck in the corner to the left of the Valencia goal and proceeded to make and end-to-end rush, finishing it off by flipping the puck past Phoenix goalie Rhett Bruckner’s blocker.

3:17 into the second (three-on-three) overtime, Phoenix forward Michael Caravella dug the puck out of the corner and played it back to Zachary Kowalchuk at the point.  His shot was blocked, but the puck came right back to him and he took it around one Flyer, skated down the slot, and rifled a shot that Willy got a piece of, but it dribbled through his pads to win the game.

It was a tough way for the game to end for Willy, who made 30 saves on 32 shots over the final two periods, 43 saves in the game all together.  At least the Flyers were able to salvage an important point in the standings with the OTL.

Bruckner (32 saves) posted the win for the Knights and Joseph Hebert scored twice for Valencia.


Springfield takes two of three from Oklahoma City

02.09.18 – Springfield 4, Oklahoma City 1

02.10.18 – Springfield 5, Oklahoma City 4

02.11.18 – Oklahoma City 8, Springfield 2

The third-place Springfield Express ran their winning streak to three games against the second-place Oklahoma City Blazers by winning the first two games of this series, but the Blazers turned things around with a decisive win on Sunday.

The visiting Blazers scored the only goal of the first period on Friday, but the Express rallied with four goals in the second period and won, 4-1.

Kayne Pasquet was the story in the Express net, as OKC out-shot Springfield 31-15 over the final two periods, but Pasquet stopped everything.  He finished the game with 44 saves on 45 shots.

Four different players scored for Springfield, including Gustav Ekstrand and Bruno Ndossi, who also had assists.

Two quick goals in the second period – by Griffin Wiencek at 5:43 and Vitalii Mikhailov at 6:08 – gave OKC a 3-1 lead on Saturday, and it looked like the Blazers might open the game up, but Springfield responded less than a minute later when Nikita Sokov stopped the bleeding with a goal for the Express.

Ekstrand added another goal later in the period to tie the game, 3-3, at the second intermission and the Express kept it going in the third period with goals from Ndossi and Arkhip Ledenkov to go up, 5-3.

The Blazers pulled Bobby Cloutier for the extra attacker and scored with 6.9 seconds, but it was too little, too late in a 5-4 loss.

Pasquet had another strong game in goal for Springfield, making 36 saves and stopping 14 of 15 shots in the third period as the Blazers pressed hard to get back even.

Cloutier made 22 of his 26 saves in the first two periods.

The Blazers were clinging to a 3-2 lead going into the third period of Sunday’s series finale, but saved their best period of the weekend for last, scoring five unanswered goals for an 8-2 win.

Three players – Ivan Bondarenko, Dionne Demke and Viktor Ekk – scored twice in the game for OKC and Cloutier stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third period for a total of 32 saves.

Ndossi and Filimon Ledenkov scored the Springfield goals.


Rhinos keep rolling, move closer to Mid-Western Division title

02.09.18 – El Paso 5, Colorado 1

02.10.18 – El Paso 4, Colorado 3 (OT)

02.11.18 – El Paso 4, Colorado 0

The El Paso Rhinos picked a tough series to work some new faces into their lineup as the Colorado Jr. Eagles, contenders in the Mountain Division, provided the competition.  But the Rhinos managed to win all three competitive inter-division games, and extend their lead over second-place Oklahoma City to 13 points in the Mid-Western Division.

El Paso out-shot their visitors 10-1 in the first period on Friday, but neither team could light the lamp.  As a matter of fact, more than half the game went by before either team could find the net.

Cameron Chabot put Colorado on top, 1-0, 11:38 into the second period.  Jakob Kranabetter, the WSHL’s all-time assist leader who was brought in from Valencia earlier in the week, scored his first goal as a Rhino less than three minutes later and the two teams went into the third period tied, 1-1.

Four different Rhinos scored as El Paso dominated the final 20 minutes and won, 5-1.

Filip Krasanovsky gave up the first goal of the game, but shut the door from there on out, making 14 saves.  Colorado veteran Braden Lajoie made 37 saves – stopping 22 of 23 shots through the first two periods – but he couldn’t hold the Rhinos at bay forever.

Austin Boyle’s first-period goal was the only scoring until the 4:38 mark of the third period of Saturday’s game.  That’s when Rhinos forward Phillip Pugliese poked it ahead to Logan Orem as he split the Colorado defensemen, and he made a quick move to his backhand to beat Jr. Eagle goalie Will McEwen and give the Rhinos a two-goal lead.

Colorado got one past Krasanovsky at 7:10 and a playoff-intense game went well into the third period at 2-1.  The next goal would be important and it was El Paso that came up with it as Chaseton Sare lit the lamp.

But Colorado was not done.  Carter Dahl skated down the right wing and let go a bomb from just inside the blue line that beat Krasanovsky to get the Jr. Eagles within a goal again.

Just 31 seconds later, with 5:22 remaining in regulation, Tom Ignatovich threw the puck on the net, it bounced around and Dahl was the first to get a stick on it, poking it across to Dawson Keay, who tapped it in past a sprawling Krasanovsky to tie the game, 3-3, and the two teams would go to overtime.

Neither team could score in the first OT, and the game went to the three-on-three period, where El Paso’s Austin Simpson hit the post in the first 30 seconds.

McEwen played a fantastic game in his WSHL debut, making 42 saves, but he ultimately took the loss.

The Rhinos broke in on a three-on-one.  Sare fired a cross-ice pass across to Simpson in the left circle, and he went back to Don Alchin, Jr. in the middle and he roofed the puck past McEwen for the game-winner.

Sunday’s game was scoreless for the first 36:11 of game time until the Rhinos finally broke the ice with a 

desperate diving attempt by two players.

Pugliese dove to poke the puck from the right circle to the front of the net where Orem dove himself to direct the puck on net.  It trickled through Colorado goaltender Braden Lajoie for the first goal of the game.

The Jr. Eagles were still in it, only trailing 1-0, when they took a five-minute major just :03 into the third period.  The Rhinos ended up scoring three times on the five-minute power play to go ahead 4-0, and that was the final score.

Sare made it 2-0 at the 0:34 mark, but the power play continued and the Rhinos kept pressing.  The puck went back to the point to Colby Haugen who fired it on net and Pugliese tipped it past Lajoie.

El Paso was not done.  Simpson entered the Colorado zone at the right-wing boards, cut to the middle of the ice with speed and ripped a low wrist shot past Lajoie’s glove side to take it 4-0.

Krasanovsky made 23 saves to post the shutout – his 9th of the season.


Icemen build six-point cushion to protect bye in Northwest Division

02.09.18 – Tahoe 6, Southern Oregon 3

02.10.18 – Tahoe 3, Southern Oregon 2

02.11.18 – Tahoe 8, Southern Oregon 3

Idaho has already wrapped up the Northwest Division, but the Tahoe Icemen want to hold onto their second-place spot and the first-round bye that goes with it.  A three-game sweep of the visiting Southern Oregon Spartans helped that cause.

Easton Easterson and Phillip Heisse each scored twice as the Icemen won, 6-3, on Friday.  Mason Cooper also had a two-goal game for the Spartans, but it wasn’t enough.

Paul Frys picked up four assists for Tahoe, including helpers on all three Icemen goals in the third period, as they took charge of what had been a one-goal game after two periods.

The Icemen held a 23-4 shot advantage in the opening period, but only managed to emerge with a 2-1 lead.

Tahoe’s Maximilian Haselbacher made 30 saves – stopping 17 of 18 shots in the second period alone as Southern Oregon pushed back.  

Tahoe trailed, 2-0, going into the third period Saturday night, but knocked out three unanswered goals – two of them 11 seconds apart – to win, 3-2.

Heisse scored 7:13 into the period to cut the Spartans lead in half then, with just under five and a half minutes to play, the Icemen scored two quick ones.

Danylo Moroz tied the game and Easterman scored 11 seconds later to give Tahoe their first lead of the game with 5:09 left.

Tahoe did a good job of keeping Southern Oregon away from goaltender Wade Conlan (18 saves), holding the Spartans to seven shots on goal over the final 40 minutes.

Austin Toussaint stopped all 35 shots he faced through the first two periods, but could not keep the Icemen off the board all night.  He made 49 saves in all.

A hat trick by Frys led the Icemen to an 8-3 win on Sunday.  Mitch Hunt and Moroz each scored twice and Heisse collected four assists.


Snipers sweep Jr. Thunder in Wichita in playoff preview

02.09.18 – Dallas 7, Wichita 3

02.10.18 – Dallas 5, Wichita 3

02.11.18 – Dallas 5, Wichita 1

The Dallas Snipers and Wichita Jr. Thunder have become quite familiar with each other lately.  They completed a stretch of six straight games against each other with three in Wichita over the weekend.  The games were competitive, but the Snipers won all three, to extend their winning streak to six games against their likely first-round playoff opponent.

The Snipers scored four times in the first period on Friday and went on to a 7-3 win.  Trevor Borlace scored a goal in each period for Dallas, giving him a hat trick.

Brady Weiss actually had to be on his toes in the Dallas net, allowing just one of 15 shots to get past him in the third period and finishing the game with 29 saves overall.

Nathaniel Merriman, making just his fifth appearance of the season in the Wichita net, had a rough first period but settled down after that and made 32 saves for the Jr. Thunder.

The Jr. Thunder had 1-0 and 2-1 leads on Saturday, but the Snipers scored three times in the third period to win, 5-3.

Five different players scored for Dallas and Manny Legace made 32 saves for the Snipers – 16 of them in the third period as Wichita pushed hard for the win at home.  The Jr. Thunder controlled the shot clock, 17-6, in the final period.

Tyler Alverson scored twice for Wichita and Austin Tilton made 24 of his 27 saves through the first two periods.

Sunday’s first period ended with the two teams tied, 1-1, but the Snipers scored two goals each in the second and third for a 5-1 win.

Sterling Cooper scored twice for Dallas and Evan Williams stopped 24 of 25 shots – including all 16 he faced over the final 40 minutes.

Tyler Inlow scored the Wichita goal.


Idaho knocks Utah off Mountain Division perch

02.09.18 – Idaho 4, Utah 2

02.10.18 – Idaho 5, Utah 2

02.11.18 – Idaho 5, Utah 1

In a series between two division leaders, the Idaho IceCats, who have clinched the Northwest Division crown, did not lack motivation as they won three games from the Outliers in Utah, knocking them out of first place in the Mountain Division.

Friday’s series opener was a fantastic exhibition of junior hockey.  An early penalty for too many men on the ice put the Outliers shorthanded and the IceCats took advantage.  Terry Ryder’s shot from the point was stopped, but Rei Kikuchi swept the rebound under Utah goalie Dawson Rodin to give Idaho the early lead just 2:37 into the game.

The next 24:11 of game time went by without a goal as neither Rodin, nor Idaho’s Jacob Hough, gave an inch.

Finally, early in the second period, an effective forecheck by Utah popped the puck loose for Kane Toriumi who centered it to Brandon Krumpschmid, and he spun and shot, beating Hough to his low stick side.

Alexander Piliya restored the Idaho lead just 2:29 later as the IceCats struck with the two teams skating four-on-four.  Ryder threw it across the ice to Piliya who was all alone on the far side of the ice.  He skated through the right circle and had plenty of time to deke Rodin to his backhand and stuff it in to give the IceCats a 2-1 lead.

The Outliers scored a power play goal just 1:16 into the third period to tie things back up, energizing the bench and the crowd but, once again, the IceCats responded to restore their lead – this time just 38 seconds later.

Krumpschmid entered the Idaho zone and carried the puck into a one-on-four, but drove wide and got a backhander on net from a tough angle that eluded Hough.

But, just after that, Roman Tintera fanned on a shot from the point, but it trickled to Blake Nelson in the slot and he backhanded the puck into the net to make it 3-2 Idaho.

Lance Herning sealed the win for the IceCats with an empty-net goal, hustling down the ice to collect a dump in and beating the Outliers to the front of the net, where he deposited the puck for a 4-2 final.

Idaho took a 4-2 lead into the third period on Saturday, and Utah’s comeback hopes were dealt a serious blow when Oscars Ancitis took a five-minute major for head contact with 8:22 remaining.

A power play goal by Hunter Lester, his second goal of the game, put the finishing touches on a 5-2 win for Idaho.

Shaun Brown was the goaltender of record for the IceCats, making 25 saves.

On this night Idaho outshot the Outliers, pouring 35 shots on the Utah goal.

The IceCats completed the sweep on Sunday afternoon with a 5-1 victory.

After a scoreless first period, the IceCats got second period goals from Alex Westin on a power play 5:24 in, Blake Nelson 11 seconds later, and Lance Herning on another power play at the 18:22 mark.

Utah got on the board 2:28 into the third, and the IceCats waited only 25 seconds to respond with 

another Westin goal. Herning launched his second of the day 4:38 in, and there was no further scoring for the last 15 and a half minutes.

Hough made 24 saves to pick up his second win of the weekend.


Ogden regains Mountain Division lead with sweep of Superior

02.09.18 – Ogden 9, Superior 5

02.10.18 – Ogden 5, Superior 3

02.11.18 – Ogden 14, Superior 4

While Idaho was taking care of Utah, Ogden took six points from the Superior RoughRiders, allowing them to move back into first place in the Mountain Division.

Matus Spodniak (3-3-6) scored a hat trick for Ogden on Friday, and Nikita Sheberov (3-1-4) matched it for Superior, but Ogden also got two goals each from Jacob Laurin (2-4-6) and Ian Currie in a 9-5 win.  Rhett Rampinelli (2-4-6) also had a big game for Superior.

Marshall Murphy made 41 saves in the game for the RoughRiders – 18 of them in the first period.

Ogden built a 4-0 lead in the first period scored of Saturday’s game, scoring all four goals in a span of 7:56, and cruising to a 5-3 win.

There was a glimmer of hope for the RoughRiders when a is-handled puck at the Mustangs’ blue line resulted in a two-one-oh for the ‘Riders top two scorers.  Thore Weyrauch passed to Sheberov who laid it back across for a pretty give-and-go goal that got Superior within two goals at 5-3, but that was all the scoring in the game.

Spodniak exploded for five goals and eight points Sunday, leading the Mustangs to a 14-4 win.

Ross Bartlett (2-3-5), Currie (2-1-3) and Laurin (2-1-3) all scored three goals each and Rampinelli (1-6-7) dished out six assists.


Bellingham stays in the thick of the Northwest race with win over Totems

02.09.18 – Bellingham 9, Seattle 3

The Bellingham Blazers scored three times in each period of a 9-3 win over Seattle on Friday.  Ilya Abubakirov (3-1-4) had a hat trick for the Blazers, Ruslan Novruzov (2-2-4) added a pair and Tim Prexler had four assists.

Edward Coffey stopped all 15 shots through the first two periods and made 21 saves in all, despite allowing three goals in the third period – two of them to Seattle’s Bogdan Klochkov.


Casper picks up six points in Cheyenne, closes gap on fourth place

02.09.18 – Casper 8, Cheyenne 1

02.10.18 – Casper 5, Cheyenne 0

02.11.18 – Casper 8, Cheyenne 3

The Casper Coyotes are in fifth place in the Mountain Division, but have been showing signs off life lately, knocking off some of the top teams in the division.  Three more wins against sixth-place Cheyenne over the weekend got them within eight points of the fourth-place Superior RoughRiders.  A top-four finish in the division would mean home ice for the first round of the playoffs.

Robbie Hufnagel kept Cheyenne in the game as long as he could on Friday, making 56 saves, but the Coyotes scored four times in the third period to pull away in an 8-1 win.

The Stampede generated plenty of scoring changes early, but could not get on the board until the third period when the game was already out of reach.  Dylan Ossachuk, who has been stellar between the pipes for the Coyotes in recent weeks, stopped all 16 shots he faced in the first period and 31 in all.

Bradley Green scored twice for Casper and Dallen Neese scored the last two goals of the game to match that production.

Ossachuk and Cheyenne’s Daniel Yockey engaged in a goaltending duel on Sunday.  Cheyenne out-shot Casper, 17-14, in the first period, but neither team was able to get on the board.

Casper’s Eliot Bergbauer finally scored at 3:17 of the second period, but that was the only goal scored in the first 34:46 of game time.

David Pokorny made it 2-0 Casper with 5:14 left in the second period, and the Coyotes scored three times in the third period to put it away 5-0, with Ossachuk posting a 35-save shutout.

Yockey made 56 saves to match Hufangel’s total from the night before.

The Coyotes scored the only two goals of the first period on Sunday, and the Stampede scored the only two of the second, and the series finale went into the final 20 minutes tied, 2-2.

Casper erupted for five goals in a span of 4:15, however, and won 8-3.  Green and Pokorny each scored twice and Jacob Elik had three assists.

Tomas Svoboda was between the pipes for Casper, giving Ossachuk a rest, and made 30 saves – 16 of them in the second period – to pick up the win.

The Stampede went back to Hufnagel, who made 53 saves, stopping 32 of 34 shots through the first two periods.


Bombers split with closest challenger, maintain division lead

02.09.18 – Ontario 7, Long Beach 4

02.10.18 – Long Beach 6, Ontario 3

The top two teams in the Western Division, the Long Beach Bombers and Ontario Avalanche, split a home-and-home series with the home team winning both ends.

William Ma scored two goals, and assisted on three others, as the Avalanche won in Ontario, 7-4, on 

Friday night.

Lee-Jay Meguinis scored to get the Bombers within a goal, at 5-4, with 7:27 left, but Jeremy Van Dyke and Jesse Zaharichuk scored late for the Avs to put the game away.

Connor Duffy made 36 saves – 29 of them over the final two periods.

A pair of second period goal by Parker Moskal gave the Bombers a 4-1 lead on Saturday, but Angelos Tsalafos got one back for the Avs with just 17 seconds left in the period, and that gave Ontario some life.

In the third period, with Long Beach on the power play, Henrik Lohman blocked a shot just inside the Ontario blue line out-raced the Bombers defender, beating Spencer Kozlowski with a low wrist shot to the stick side to get the Avalanche within a goal with just under 13 minutes remaining, but the Bombers added a pair late for a 6-3 win.

Ryan Gil had a goal and three assists for Long Beach, giving him six points (2-4-6) in his first three games with the club.

Kozlowski made 29 saves for Long Beach – 17 of them in the third period.


Bellingham tops West Sound, ties Warriors for third in Northwest Division

02.10.18 – Bellingham 5, West Sound 3

The Bellingham Blazers tied the West Sound Warriors by defeating them in regulation and eliminating the two-point gap that existed in the standings heading into the weekend.

The first two times the Blazers took a lead, the Warriors followed with the equalizer, but Ilya Abubakirov scored back-to-back goals to give the Blazers a 4-2 advantage early in the third period and they held on for a 5-3 win.

Harri Kroll got the Warriors with a goal with 5:06 left, but they were not able to tie the game up a third time.

Abubakirov had a hat trick for Bellingham and Ruslan Novruzov had a goal and three assists.

Bellingham’s Avery Heath (21 saves) allowed one goal in each period, but got enough goal support to post the victory.

West Sound goaltender Brian Eisele (35 saves) stopped all 18 shots he faced in the second period but took the loss.


Totems create a little breathing room with win at home over Warriors

02.11.18 – Seattle 6, West Sound 4

The West Sound Warriors took a 4-3 lead into the third period of their game at Seattle on Sunday, but the Totems scored 40 seconds into the period to tie the game, then added two more for a 6-4 win.  With  

the win, the Totems created a five-point gap between them and the sixth-place Southern Oregon Spartans in the Northwest Division standings.

Bogdan Klochkov (1-2-3) scored the equalizer for Seattle and set up Caleb Travis for the game-winner.

With the game tied, 4-4, Klochkov picked off a D-to-D pass just inside the Seattle blue line and barreled down the ice with the puck creating a two-on-one with Travis who went hard to the right post.  Klochkov held onto the puck until the last instant, then slid a sharp pass onto Travis’ tape and he put it home to make it 5-4 Seattle.

Braiden Sparkes scored an insurance goal for the Totems and Stepan Jirovec had a goal and two assists.

Both teams replaced their goaltenders after one period.  Wyatt Monear made 28 saves over the final two periods – stopping all 13 shots he faced in the third – to earn the win for Seattle.

Dmitri Munirov scored twice for West Sound.

--- compiled by Scott Harrington/Harrington Sports Media