WSHL WRAP-UP; March 1 – March 4, 2018

by James Talluto


Mustangs secure second place, first-round bye 

03.02.18 – Ogden 3, Colorado 2

03.03.18 – Ogden 6, Colorado 1

03.04.18 – Ogden 3, Colorado 0

With second place in the Mountain Division and a first-round bye on the line, the Ogden Mustangs defeated the Colorado Jr. Eagles three times, taking care of business and sending a message to a possible division semifinal opponent.

The Jr. Eagles battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie Friday’s game, 2-2, with 5:18 left in the third period, but Ammon Anderson’s second goal of the game, with 56 seconds left, gave the Mustangs the regulation win.

With just under a minute left, Colorado turned the puck over at their blue line and Ogden’s Ross Bartlett collected the puck took it to the slot. His backhand attempt was blocked, but Harry Gulliver fired it back on net.  It was blocked again, but came to Anderson at the side of the net, and he buried it for the game-winner.

With the Mustangs up, 2-1, late in the third period, Colorado’s Sean McMahon slipped past a hip check along the right-wing boards, chased the puck down in the corner, and centered it to Joe Roach who’s wrist shot was partially blocked by Ogden netminder Tymen Edelkoort coming out to challenge.  The puck went up in the air, and looked like it might float over the net, but came down across the line to tie the game and set the stage for Anderson’s heroics.

Edelkoort stopped 29 of 31 shots for Ogden and Will McEwen made 38 saves for Colorado.

The Jr. Eagles put the pressure on early on Saturday, but Edelkoort was on his game, turning aside 18 of 19 shots in the first period as the Mustangs took a 2-0 lead.

Colorado got one back in the second period, but Ogden took the wind out of their sails with an 

unassisted goal from Matthew Thielemann with just 18 seconds on the clock that made it 4-1.

Rhett Rampinelli scored twice in the third period to put the game away for the Mustangs, 6-1.

Edelkoort finished with 31 saves on 32 shots.  Lajoie made 31 saves through two periods for Colorado but was replaced for the third period.

The ‘Stangs stuck with Edelkoort for his third start in as many days on Sunday and he came through with a 19-save shutout, leading Ogden to a 3-0 win.

The game was scoreless until the 3:26 mark of the second period when Ogden’s Ian Currie broke the ice.  Rampinelli doubled the Mustangs’ lead three minutes later.

McEwen was sharp for Colorado, making 35 saves, but did not get any goal support and took the loss.


Outliers leave points on the table, but clinch Mountain Division

03.02.18 – Utah 6, Superior 3

03.03.18 – Utah 5, Superior 4 (OT)

03.04.18 – Superior 5, Utah 4

There has been so much talk about the three-team race in the Mountain Division race this year that the Superior RoughRiders sometimes get over-looked.  But the ‘Riders showed again this weekend that they will have some say in which team emerges from the Mountain Division.  Superior took three points from their three-game series against the division-leading Utah, showing the WSHL that they are a team to be reckoned with in the upcoming Thorne Cup playoffs.

Roman Svik scored twice in the first period and Dylan Massie scored twice in the third as Utah won, 6-3, on Friday.

Goals by Wilson McCloy and David Waterman 49 seconds apart got the RoughRiders within a goal at 4-3 midway through the second period, but Utah’s Dawson Rodin (19 saves) kept them off the board for the final 30:26, allowing Massie to put the game away with the last two tallies of the game.

Superior’s Marshall Murphy made 37 saves, stopping 17 of 18 shots in the second period as the ‘Riders got themselves back in the game after falling behind by three goals early in the second period. 

Massie’s second goal of Saturday’s game, 18 seconds into the second overtime, gave the Outliers a 5-4 win.  Just getting the game to overtime gave Utah the point that clinched the Mountain Division title.

Shortly after the faceoff for the three-on-three OT, the RoughRiders controlled the puck in the Utah zone along the boards, but turned it over to Kane Toriumi who skated hard through the neutral zone and hit Massie with a pass as he split two Superior defenders.  He broke in alone on Murphy and beat him to the stick side for the winner.

The Outliers had leads of 2-0 and 4-2, but the RoughRiders, without anything to play as far as the standings go, kept battling back, tying it both times and showing a ton of character.

Nikita Sheberov scored a pair of third period goals to complete a hat trick and force overtime.

Superior goaltender Bronson Sudberry stood out with 48 saves, stopping 17 of 18 shots in the third period as the ‘Riders rallied to force sudden-death and pick up a point.

The RoughRiders had leads of 3-1 and 5-2 in Sunday’s game, but Utah did not go quietly despite already having the division title wrapped up.

Jacob Wanstrom – his second of the game – and Kaeden Meuer scored at 10:31 and 13:00 respectively to get Utah within a goal at 5-4, but the Murphy (33 saves) and the RoughRiders were able to weather the storm for the final seven minutes and claim a confidence-inspiring regulation win.

Thore Weyrauch (2-2-4) figured in four of the five Superior goals.


Bombers assume control of Western Division with help from Kozlowski

03.01.18 – Long Beach 4, Phoenix 0

03.02.18 – Long Beach 5, Phoenix 0

03.03.18 – Long Beach 8, Phoenix 0

Long Beach goaltender Spencer Kozlowski blanked the Phoenix Knights in all three games over the weekend, running his shutout streak to 258:19 covering four straight shutouts.  More importantly, with the three wins, the Bombers clinched at least a share of the Western Division title.  They only need one point from their final three games against Valencia, or for Ontario to leave any points on the table in their last two games, to win the division outright.

Kozlowski, acquired from Valencia prior to the WSHL trade deadline, is now 6-3-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and four shutouts with Long Beach. 

The Bombers scored three times in the first period – twice in the final 1:28 – and hung on for a 4-0 win on Friday.  Joel Larsson scored twice and Kozlowski made 27 saves for the shutout.

Owen Petten also made 27 saves for the Knights. 

Kozlowski was busier on Saturday night, facing 35 Phoenix shots, but he was again perfect in net as the Bombers posted a 5-0 shutout win.

Five different Long Beach skaters scored and Tomas Urbanec and Artem Korolev each had two assists.

Petten made 31 saves for the Knights, kicking out 15 of 16 shots in the second period.

The Knights generated 38 shots on goal in Sunday’s series finale, but Kozlowski made it a perfect weekend, handling all of them and recording his fourth straight shutout.

The Bombers were up 4-0 after the first period, and kept the pressure on in the second, scoring three more times and going on to an 8-0 win.

Artem Korolev scored two goals and assisted on a third for Long Beach.  


Fresno plays spoiler, ruins Ontario’s shot at Western Division title

03.02.18 – Fresno 5, Ontario 1

03.03.18 – Fresno 4, Ontario 2

03.04.18 – Ontario 4, Fresno 1

The Ontario Avalanche went into their three-game series against Fresno trying to keep pace with Long Beach.  Losses on Friday and Saturday put them in a position where they need the planets to align perfectly on the final weekend of the regular season just to tie the Bombers.

Daylon Mannon scored a hat trick and figured in all five Fresno goal on Friday as they posted a 5-1 win.  Cody Key picked up three assists and Deivids Tempelmanis (2-2-4) had four points.

Kyle Franceschini made 26 saves for the Monsters, stopping all 12 shots in the third period to stymie any Avalanche attempts at a comeback.

Charles Riordin scored the Ontario goal and Filip Subrt made 39 saves for the Avs.

The Monsters put another nail in Ontario’s coffin with a 4-2 win on Saturday.  Alec Johnson scored 1:56 into the third period to get the Avs within a goal, at 3-2, but Franceschini shut the door from there on out, allowing Adam Polomsky to seal it with an empty-net goal with 1:18 left.  Mannon collected an assist on the play, giving him three points on the night (1-2-3).

Subrt made 45 saves in the game, allowing just on goal on 22 shots against in the second period.

Ontario finally broke through with a win on Sunday.  The Monsters put 18 shots on Ontario’s Connor Duffy in the first period and he stopped them all while Brett Ruiz put the Avalanche on the board.

Thomas King and Henrik Lohman scored second period goals to put Ontario in the driver’s seat. 

Fresno’s comeback attempt was hurt by some late penalties that gave the Avalanche a five-on-three power play for the final four minutes of the game.  Alec Johnson (1-2-3) sealed it with an empty-netter.


Icemen wrap up second place, first-round bye, with sweep of Warriors

03.02.18 – Tahoe 8, West Sound 2

03.03.18 – Tahoe 9, West Sound 3

03.04.18 – Tahoe 9, West Sound 7

The Tahoe Icemen scored 26 goals in a three-game sweep of the West Sound Warriors that secured the second spot in the Northwest Division.

The Warriors held a 2-1 lead after the first 40 minutes of Friday’s game, but the Icemen broke loose for seven unanswered goals in the third period.

Tahoe scored four times in a span of 3:12 to take control of the game.  Paul Frys scored three of those goals himself and added a pair of assists in the game for a five-point night.

Mitch Hunt had a goal and three assists for Tahoe.

Brian Eisale went the distance in the West Sound net, stopping 20 of 21 shots through the first two periods before the wheels fell off in the third.

Alec Johnson and Lauri Hakanen scored for the Warriors.

Three goals in the first 2:41 of the second period gave the Icemen a 5-0 lead and, seemingly, control of Saturday’s contest.  But the Warriors collected themselves and scored the next three goals.

Frys scored his second of the game late in the second period to make it 6-3 Tahoe, and the Icemen tacked on three more in the third period for a 9-3 win.

Hunt also scored twice for the Icemen and Connor Wherrett notched a pair for West Sound.

Sunday’s game was a barn-burner.

Tahoe jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period only to see West Sound battle back to within a goal 6:30 into the second period.  From there the Icemen got the next two goals to go up, 8-5, but the Warriors came back with two of their own to make it a one-goal game again late in the third.

Frys scored a pivotal goal with 2:38 left to make it 8-6 Tahoe.  The Warriors got within a goal once again – the third time in the game – with just 1:50 left.

Danylo Moroz finally put the game away with 47 seconds left on the clock.

Frys led Tahoe with five points (2-3-5) and Dmitri Munirov notched a hat trick for West Sound.


Flyers reverse slide, claim home ice for playoffs

03.02.18 – Valencia 6, San Diego 4

03.03.18 – Valencia 4, San Diego 2

03.04.18 – Valencia 3, San Diego 0

The Valencia Flyers came into their series in San Diego having lost 11 of their last 12 games and home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs was slipping away.  Three wins in three days later, the Flyers secured home ice for their first-round series against Phoenix.

The Flyers came back from third period deficits of 3-1 and 4-2, scoring three times in the final 1:56 of regulation, to win Friday’s game 6-4.

With the Flyers trailing 4-3, and just under two minutes left in the game, Valencia goalie Zachary Everett came out to play a dump-in and passed it up to Daniel Klinecky at the center red line.  Klinecky skated down the right wing, crossed the blue line, and made a nifty drop pass to Erik Ehrmantraut.  The left-handed shot came down his off-wing and beat San Diego goaltender Zach Hale stick side with a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot.

Shortly after the ensuing faceoff, there was a scramble around the San Diego net.  Hale made a few sharp saves on Jacob Ulestig, including one where he stretched his left skate behind him to stuff the Valencia forward on a wraparound attempt.  The end result of the scrum was the two sides skating four-on-four with a faceoff just outside the Sabers zone with 1:17 left.

After the Flyers won the faceoff, Klinecky Gained the zone and threw the puck to the left-wing side to Tristian Warr, who put it back into the slot for Nicholas Hames who beat Hale with a wrist shot for the game-winner with 1:01 left.

The Flyers added an empty netter for the 6-4 final.

On Saturday, Dylan San Augustin scored the first two goals of the game, and the Flyers built a 4-0 lead in the second period, then hung on for a 4-2 win.

Karel Kankovsky and Ondrej Imrich scored second period goals for San Diego to cut Valencia’s lead in half, but that was as close as they would get.

Adam Rousselo (23 saves) stopped all eight shots in the third period to preserve the win for the Flyers in his just his second start of the season.

Valencia completed the sweep with a 3-0 win on Sunday. 


Express roll over Snipers, finish strong third in Mid-Western Division

03.02.18 – Springfield 9, Dallas 3

03.03.18 – Springfield 8, Dallas 2

03.04.18 – Springfield 8, Dallas 3

The Springfield Express went on the road to Dallas and came back with six points after three convincing wins over the Snipers.

The Express led, 4-0, after the first period on Friday and, although the Snipers scored three times in the second period, Springfield won, 9-3.

Arkhip Ledenkov and Nikita Sokov each had a hat trick for Springfield.

Christopher Mingus scored twice and Brady Weiss made 46 saves for Dallas.

The Express won, 8-2, on Saturday with Ondrej Cerny and Stephane Doering each scoring a pair of goals.

Eric Eaton and Arvidas Domeika scored late in the game for Dallas.

Connor Green started between the pipes for Springfield, but was replaced in the first period after stopping all seven shots he faced.  Chad Purdy (13 saves) took over for the rest of the game.

Manny Legace made 42 saves for Dallas. 

Springfield started off strong again on Sunday, but the Snipers got within a goal twice, at 3-2 and 4-3.  The Express got it back on the track, however, and rattled off the last four goals for an 8-3 win.

Sokov and Arkhip Ledenkov scored two goals each and Evan Williams made 53 saves for Dallas.


Rhinos rout Jr. Thunder, surpass 400-goal mark 

03.02.18 – El Paso 21, Wichita 0

03.03.18 – El Paso 13, Wichita 0

03.04.18 – El Paso 18, Wichita 0

The El Paso Rhinos put the finishing touches on their dominant 2017-18 campaign, finishing with a 49-1-1 record and 405 goals scored and 63 allowed.

13 different Rhinos scored in a 21-0 win on Friday.  Justin-Cole Dubecky (3-2-5) scored a hat trick while Austin Simpson and Jakob Kranabetter had two goals and four assists apeice.

Filip Krasanovsky picked up his 35th win and 11th shutout.

Chaseton Sare (3-1-4) and Jake Kopinski (1-3-4) led the offensive charge in Saturday’s 13-0 Rhinos win.  Kayden Pickles made 14 saves for the shutout.

Maxiamilian Kamper (3-2-5) and Carlo Wittor each had hat tricks Sunday as the Rhinos scored nine times in the second period and ran away with another one, 18-0.

Pickles was between the pipes again, registering his fourth shutout in his last five starts.


Totems hold off Spartans for final placement in Northwest Division

03.02.18 – Seattle 4, Southern Oregon 3 (forfeit)

03.03.18 – Seattle 8, Southern Oregon 5

The Southern Oregon Spartans went to Seattle trying to catch the fifth-place Totems, but failed to win either game and will finish in the basement of the Northwest Division.

Friday’s game was tied, 3-3, when there was a fight late in the second period.  There were multiple unsportsmanlike penalties and game misconducts, including the ejection of Spartans coach David Creighton.

Traveling with only one coach, and with nobody left behind the Southern Oregon bench, the WSHL for safety reason called the game and win was awarded to Seattle.

Daniel Normerstad’s hat trick led the Totems to an 8-5 win on Saturday.  Michael Shippee picked up three assists and both teams used two goaltenders in the wide-open affair.

Joel Holmberg (2-2-4) figured in four of the five Southern Oregon goals and Axel Low collected three assists.


Bellingham shows well against division champ Idaho

03.02.18 – Bellingham 3, Idaho 2 (SO)

03.03.18 – Idaho 4, Bellingham 1

03.04.18 – Idaho 10, Bellingham 3

The Belingham Blazers made some noise in the Northwest Division by handing the Idaho IceCats just their seventh loss of the season in Friday’s series opener.  Idaho came back to win the next two, but the Blazers should take some confidence out of the series which they can draw on in the first round of the payoffs two weeks from now.

Kolter Pawlick was the story in Bellingham’s 3-2 shootout win on Friday.

With the Blazers protecting a 2-1 lead late in regulation, Idaho’s Terry Ryder was denied by Pawlick as he tried to finish off a two-on-one.  Idaho head coach John Olver took a timeout and pulled goaltender Victor Ojdal with the faceoff in the Bellingham zone.  IceCats defenseman Jackson York made two outstanding plays to keep the puck in at the blue line.  The second one went to Alexander Piliya, who gave the puck to Ryder as he cut to the net.  His wrist shot made it through traffic and tied the game with 1:19 left in regulation.

Idaho out-shot Bellingham, 7-3, over the two sudden-death periods, and the game went to a shootout.

The first shooter, Bellingham’s Jamahl Eakett, was stuffed by the right toe of Ojdal he tried to make a last-second move to his backhand.

Idaho’s Casper Sjodin skated in and went high blocker on Pawlick to put Idaho ahead.

Robbie Eichelberger was next for the Blazers, and he made some quick moves and had Ojdal down, but fanned on his shot.  That put Bellingham in a tight spot.

Idaho Lance Herning could have ended the game, but Pawlick poke-checked him as he deked to keep the Blazers alive.

The next shooter, Bellingham’s Ruslan Novruzov converted sharply through the five-hole to tie it up.

Piliya was the final regulation shooter.  He had the game on his stick, and executed the “Forsberg Move” nicely, but the puck hit the post and the Blazers were still alive.

Thomas Steven made a quick backhand/forehand move and finished to put Bellingham ahead.

Idaho’s Marcus Jernberg tried to beat Pawlick between the pads and was denied, giving the Blazers the win.

Pawlick’s hot play carried over to the first period of Saturday’s game.  He stopped all 12 shots he faced in the opening frame, but the IceCats got to him twice in both the second and third periods in a 4-1 Idaho win.

Idaho netminder Jacob Hough stopped 15 of 16 shots, allowing just Ilya Abubakirov’s second period tally, and Herning scored twice for the IceCats.

Piliya (1-4-5), Sjodin (2-2-4) and Herning (2-1-3) led the IceCats to a 10-3 win on Sunday.

Thomas Steven scored twice for the Blazers, who found the net once in each period.


Blazers surpass 40-win plateau, close out season on 10-game win streak

03.02.18 – Oklahoma City 5, Casper 1

03.03.18 – Oklahoma City 11, Casper 2

03.04.18 – Oklahoma City 8, Casper 0

The Oklahoma City Blazers finished their regular season with a 10-game winning streak after three victories over the Casper Coyotes.  Casper finishes fifth in the Mountain Division and will play at Superior in the opening round of the playoffs.

Vitalii Mikhailov scored a hat trick – one goal in each period – as the Blazers won by a 5-1 score on Friday night.

Bobby Cloutier stopped 14 of 15 shots for OKC, including all nine shots he faced in the second period, as Casper pressed for the tying goal.

Dylan Ossachuk made 29 saves and Cameron Cross scored the goal for the Coyotes.

Ivan Bondarenko scored three goals as the Blazers built a 4-0 lead in the first period on Saturday.  Bondarenko finished the game with five goals in an 11-2 OKC victory.

Bradley Green and David Pokorny scored for the Coyotes.

Mikhailov notched another hat trick and Cloutier posted a 22-save shutout as OKC won, 8-0, on Sunday.

The Blazers led 3-0 after one period, and 7-0 after two.  Viktor Ekk dished out three helpers for Oklahoma City

--- compiled by Scott Harrington/Harrington Sports Media