WSHL WRAP-UP; March 8 – March 11, 2018
LONG BEACH BOMBERS vs. VALENCIA FLYERS
Bombers wrap up division-winning season with sweep of Flyers
03.08.18 – Long Beach 10 @ Valencia 2
03.09.18 – Valencia 2 @ Long Beach 5
03.10.18 – Valencia 2 @ Long Beach 5
The Long Beach Bombers made it official, sweeping the Valencia Flyers to finish the season on a seven-game win streak and win the Western Division by seven points over Ontario. The Bombers will enjoy a bye next week while the Flyers host the Phoenix Knights in a division quarterfinal series.
Tomas Urbanec (2-4-6) led the Bombers to a 10-2 win in Valencia on Thursday. Long Beach already had a tie-breaker in their pocket that clinched the #1 seed if they needed it, but Thursday’s win gave them the division outright.
Ryan Gil also scored a pair for Long Beach and former Flyer Melwin Thorsson had four points (1-3-4).
Bombers goaltender Spencer Kozlowski was foiled in his attempt to register his fifth consecutive shutout, but his shutout streak made it to just shy of 290 minutes.
The two teams headed to Long Beach for the final two games of their regular season without a whole lot to play for aside from tuning up for the post-season. Five different Bombers scored and Domenic Bosetti stopped 28 of 30 shots in a 5-2 Long Beach win on Friday.
Valencia Netminder Zachary Everett made 30 of his 34 saves through the first two periods and Daniel Klinecky and Tristian Warr scored the Flyers goals.
Saturday’s game was decided by an identical 5-2 score. Valencia led, 2-1, heading into the third period, but the Bombers scored four unanswered goals in the final frame to come back and win. Kozlowski stopped all 11 shots he faced in the third period as the Bombers were coming back and finished the game with 28 saves.
Urbanec scored the first and last Bombers goals of the game and Mack Willy was between the pipes for the Flyers, making 38 saves.
WICHITA JR. THUNDER @ SPRINGFIELD EXPRESS
Express look dominant in final weekend of the season
03.09.18 – Springfield 20, Wichita 2
03.10.18 – Springfield 17, Wichita 2
03.11.18 – Springfield 11, Wichita 2
The Springfield Express posted three convincing wins over the Wichita Jr. Thunder to close out their regular season schedule, and will now enjoy a week off before traveling to Oklahoma City for what should be a competitive division quarterfinal series. The Express finished the regular season with 334 goals – third-most in the Mid-Western Division but fourth in the entire WSHL.
Vegard Faret (4-3-7), Filimon Ledenkov (3-2-5) and Mathew Smishek (3-1-4) all notched hat tricks for Springfield in a 20-2 Express win on Friday.
Stephane Doering (1-4-5), Akos Szigeti and Gustav Ekstrand all had four assists.
Wichita’s Austin Tilton made 43 of his 55 saves through the first two periods.
The Express did not throttle back at all on Saturday, scoring six times in each of the first two periods and winning, 17-2.
Faret scored five goals, Filimon Ledenkov had four (4-1-5) and Doering (2-6-8) collected eight points.
Tilton made 50 more saves for the Jr. Thunder and Kayne Pasquet was pretty busy at the other end, facing 34 shots and allowing just two goals.
Tilton out-did himself on Sunday, making 20+ saves in each period and finishing the game with 64 in an 11-2 Springfield win. Oscar Andersson and Nikita Sokov both found the net twice for the Express.
Braeden Thomas lit the lamp for the Jr. Thunder in all three games.
FRESNO MONSTERS @ SEATTLE TOTEMS
Monsters miss out on bye, but Mannon wins scoring title
03.09.18 – Fresno 8, Seattle 3
03.10.18 – Fresno 13, Seattle 5
03.11.18 – Fresno 12, Seattle 0
Despite three road wins in Seattle, the Fresno Monsters came up short in their bid for a second-place finish in the Western Division. It was a productive weekend on an individual level, however, as Monster forward Daylon Mannon won the WSHL scoring title on the final day of the regular season, finishing with 150 points on 75 goals and 75 assists.
Seattle led, 2-1, after the first period Friday on a pair of goals by Bodgan Klochkov, but the visiting Monsters fought back with four unanswered goals in the second period and came back for an 8-3 win.
Daniel Goodwin had a goal in each period and Mannon scored twice for Fresno – his 70th and 71st of the season.
The Totems scored five times in Saturday’s game, but the Monsters broke out for five in each of the last two periods in a 13-5 win.
Cody Key (2-3-5), Jake Chartier (2-2-4) and Nakita Anistratenko (2-1-3) all scored twice in the game for Fresno and Mannon (1-3-4) had four points to give him 72-72-144 on the season and get him within two points of Ogden’s Matus Spodniak (69-77-146).
Fresno’s Max Karlenzig posted a 29-save shutout on Sunday. It was 4-0 Monsters after two periods, but they exploded for eight goals in the final frame for a 12-0 win.
Anistratenko scored four times and Mannon (3-3-6) added six points to finish the season with 75-75-150 to lead the WSHL in both goals and points.
WEST SOUND WARRIORS vs. BELLINGHAM BLAZERS
Blazers tie for second in Northwest, but lose tie-breaker to Tahoe
03.09.18 – West Sound 5 @ Bellingham 9
03.10.18 – Bellingham 5 @ West Sound 3
03.11.18 – West Sound 4 @ Bellingham 6
The Bellingham Blazers and West Sound Warriors benefitted from an outstanding playoff dress rehearsal with three tight games in three days. The Blazers came out on top in all three to tie the Tahoe Icemen for second place in the Northwest Division, but the Icemen hold the tie-breaker. That means the Blazers narrowly missed out on a first-round bye and, will play next week, hosting the Southern Oregon Spartans in a best-of-three Northwest Division Quarterfinal Series.
Ruslan Novruzov’s four-goal effort led Bellingham to a 9-5 win on Friday. The Blazers built a 4-1 lead after the first period only to see if evaporate in the second as the Warriors tied it up, 5-5. But the Blazers scored four unanswered goals in the third period – including Novruzov’s third and fourth of the game 3:28 apart late in the game.
Timothy Prexler picked up four assists for the Blazers.
Dmitri Munirov, meanwhile, figured in all five West Sound goals, scoring one and assisting on the other four.
Bellingham netminder Kolter Pawlick had a rough second period, but rebounded to stop all eight shots he faced in the third as the Blazers claimed victory.
Saturday’s game was another interesting one. Bellingham broke a 1-1 tie by scoring twice in the first 1:39 of the second period, but the Warriors scored two second period goals of their own – the second one with 4.6 seconds left – to once again send the game into the third period tied, this time 3-3.
Jamahl Eakett’s second goal of the game, 6:18 into the third period, proved to be the game-winner. Connar Peers added an insurance goal with just over four minutes left.
Munirov scored twice for West Sound and Ruslan Abyanov picked up assists on all three Warrior goals.
Bellingham’s Edward Coffey (17 saves) got the decision over West Sound’s Robbie Brennan (31 saves).
The two teams went into the third period tied for the third game in a row on Sunday, and for the third game in a row the Blazers finished strong to win the game, this time by a score of 6-4.
Novruzov broke a 4-4 tie with his second and third goals of the game to give the Blazers a 5-3 lead. Ty-Andrew Traynor got the Warriors within a goal with just under five minutes left in the game, but Eakett put home the insurance goal for the Blazers in the final minute.
Novruzov also had a pair of assists in the game for a five-point night, making him the 12th WSHL player this season to eclipse the 100-point plateau.
Brennan made another 30 saves, but took the loss for West Sound. Avery Heath (24 saves) picked up the “W” for Bellingham.
SAN DIEGO SABERS vs. ONTARIO AVALANCHE
Ontario Avalanche secure first-round bye in Western Division playoffs
03.09.18 – San Diego 0 @ Ontario 6
03.10.18 – Ontario 3 @ San Diego 4 (SO)
The Ontario Avalanche wrapped up second place in the Western Division with a win on Friday, and the San Diego Sabers finished their regular season on a high note, posting a shootout win Saturday in their final game of the year in front of their fans. The Avs will rest up next week while the Sabers will travel to Fresno for the playoffs.
Filip Subrt came up big in a 6-0 Ontario win on Friday, stopping all 28 shots San Diego put on him – 17 of them in the second period – and keeping the game close until the Avs could break it open in the third period.
Ontario scored twice late in the first period to take a 2-0 lead at the first intermission, but the Sabers did not go easily. They out-shot the Avs,17-8, in a scoreless second period, but Ontario turned the momentum around in the third.
Alec Johnson scored twice in the final period for the Avalanche and Ontario’s Declan Curtis (1-3-4) had four points in the game.
Zach Hale made 37 saves, keeping the Sabers in the game as long as he could.
San Diego closed out their regular season schedule on a high note Saturday, tying the game late and posting a 4-3 shootout win, to give themselves some momentum heading into the post-season.
The game was tied, 2-2, late in the third period when Levi Hulston gave Ontario the lead with 3:32 left in regulation.