WSHL WRAP-UP; November 16-19, 2017

by Scott Harrington


Sabers find their scoring touch, but suffer sweep in Valencia

11.16.17 – Valencia 12, San Diego 3

11.17.17 – Valencia 6, San Diego 3

11.18.17 – Valencia 8, San Diego 5

The San Diego Sabers scored 11 goals in their three-game series against the Flyers in Valencia but, despite keeping the last two games competitive, did not return home to San Diego with any points in the standings.  The Flyers, meanwhile, moved to within four points of the first-place Long Beach Bombers in the Western Division standings.

Valencia’s Nikita Pintusov scored five goals and Jacob Kranabetter collected nine points (2-7-9) in Thursday’s series opener.  The Flyers went out to a 9-0 lead before San Diego got on the board with a Cole Parker goal, and cruised to a 12-3 win.

Dawson Keay (2-4-6) also had a big game with six points and Zachary Everett made 20 saves for Valencia.

Patrick Henson entered the game in relief early in the first period and went the rest of the way, making 41 saves for the Sabers.

San Diego’s Elisha Reece broke the ice 2:39 into Friday’s game, but Valencia scored the next six goals to regain control.  Pintusov scored twice in the first period as the Flyers built a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes on their way to a 6-3 win. 

Reece scored again for the Sabers in the third period while Kranabetter and Joseph Hebert each collected three assists in the game for Valencia.

Everett stopped 25 of 28 shots to post the win for Valencia while Ben Greeenlee made 46 saves for the Sabers. 

Greenlee made 57 saves for San Diego in Saturday’s series finale – 40 of them through the first two periods, but it was not enough to get the win.  The Sabers did win the third period, 3-2, but it was too little, too late in an 8-5 Valencia win.

Pintusov again scored twice for the Flyers, as did Jason Hickman and Corbin Genge.  Kranabetter had a goal and three assists.

Walter Martishius (22 saves) and Adam Rousselo (17) split the game in the Flyers cage.


Knights keep their momentum going, take two of three from Monsters

11.17.17 – Fresno 6, Phoenix 3

11.18.17 – Phoenix 7, Fresno 5

11.19.17 – Phoenix 4, Fresno 3

The Phoenix Knights had not won a single game all season before winning their last six – all against the San Diego Sabers.  But they still had plenty to prove against the rest of the division, and they started to do that over the weekend by taking four of six points from the visiting Fresno Monsters.

Phoenix held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first period of Friday’s series opener and, although they trailed 3-2 when the opening period ended, they kept at it.  The Knights out-shot the Monsters, 18-9, in a scoreless second period, then tied it up just 2:17 into the third on a goal by Eric Cotton.

Fresno flipped the switch, however, and scored three unanswered goals to register a 6-3 win.

Cory Hurtubise gave the Monsters the lead with what would prove to be the game-winner just 1:21 after Cotton’s tally.  Cody Key gave Fresno some breathing room at 10:10, then added another insurance goal in the final minute for a 6-3 final.

Phoenix kept coming on Saturday.  Cotton gave the Knights the lead 4:10 into the game with a wrist shot from a severe angle that somehow snuck up over Max Karlenzig’s shoulder and under the bar.  Anthony Masanotti made it 2-0 about eight and a half minutes later, but the Monsters pushed back, tying it before the first intermission with goals from Ty Wright, at 17:46, and Daniel Goodwin with just :12 left in the first period.

Daylon Mannon gave Fresno their first lead of the game just 1:25 into the second period, and Fresno may have thought they had things back on the rails, but the Knights responded 1:14 later to tie things back up, then reclaimed the lead at 7:09.  The final 12:51 of the second period went by without any more scoring, as Karlenzig and Rhett Bruckner matched each other save for save, and Phoenix took a 4-3 lead into the third period.

Jacob Rudloff beat Brucker to knot the score yet again, just 1:10 into the final frame, but the Knights were not deterred.  Andrius Burmejo, who also had a pair of assists in the game, put the Knights ahead, 5-4, with at 8:58.  The next goal was going to be huge, and this time the Knights built on their lead less than two minutes later on a goal by Colton Seeman.

Ivan Vilcauskas got the Monsters back within a goal with 8:00 left, but they were not able to get the equalizer past Brucker, who made 42 saves on the night.

Kohl Hedquist became the seventh Phoenix skater to score when he put the biscuit in the basket with 3:41 left to close out the scoring in a 7-5 Knights win.

Karlenzig finished the game with 34 saves for Fresno.


Idaho remains undefeated, posts two more shutouts

11.17.17 – Idaho 7, Southern Oregon 0

11.18.17 – Idaho 8, Southern Oregon 2

11.19.17 – Idaho 8, Southern Oregon 0

The Idaho IceCats continued their dominance, sweeping the Southern Oregon Spartans to remain undefeated and pad their lead atop the Northwest Division.

The IceCats posted their fourth straight shutout with a 7-0 win on Friday.  Seven different players scored for Idaho and Tyler Matthews posted the shutout.  Bryan Kaes broke the ice and supplied the game-winning goal at the same time, just 2:52 after the opening faceoff.

Krystof Holub made 38 saves for Southern Oregon.

Idaho led, 4-0, late in the second period of Saturday’s game, but Matej Valicek put the Spartans on the board with 1:11 left in the period to give Southern Oregon a little life.

Any spark was extinguished when the IceCats scored twice in the first 5:16 of the third period on their way to an 8-2 win. 

Joel Holmberg scored the other goal for Southern Oregon and Holub made 21 more saves.

Rei Kikuchi scored twice and had an assist for Idaho and Quinn Martin had a goal and three assists.  Shaun Brown made 19 of his 22 saves over the final two periods as the Spartans tested him.

Idaho recorded their fifth shutout in six games in Sunday’s series finale.  Southern Oregion was still within two goals after the first period, but Idaho scored four times in the second period and went on to an 8-0 win. 

Jacob Hough, the third IceCats netminder of the weekend, stopped 13 shots for the shutout while Martin (2-2-4) continued to supply offense. 

Holub was between the pipes once again for Southern Oregon and had his busiest game of the weekend, facing 54 shots and making 46 saves.


Blazers stay undefeated, keep pace with El Paso

11.17.17 – Oklahoma City 12, Dallas 1

11.18.17 – Oklahoma City 9, Dallas 3

11.19.17 – Oklahoma City 9, Dallas 0

The Oklahoma City Blazers kept their record perfect with three wins over the Dallas Snipers on home ice.

Bobby Cloutier allowed just one goal on 27 shots to backstop the Blazers to a 12-1 win on Friday.  Four different OKC skaters scored twice in the game:  Joshua Chamberlain (2-4-6), Ivan Bondarenko (2-4-6), Griffin Wienceck (2-3-5) and Vitalii Mikhailov (2-0-2).

It was still only 2-0 Oklahoma City at the 6:35 mark of the second period, but the Blazers scored six times before the next intermission and cruised from there.

Karsten Portell ruined Cloutier’s shutout bid with just 1:36 left in the game.

Trevor Borlace scored at 13:29 of the second period to complete a Dallas comeback from a 3-0 deficit on Saturday, but Dionne Demke gave OKC the lead back with 31 seconds left in the second period, and the Blazers kept it going with five unanswered goals in the third period to pull away for a 9-3 win.

Patrick Tondl and Jordan Sgro scored two goals apiece for the Blazers.

Dallas netminder Brady Weiss made 34 of his 43 saves through the first period periods, and went the distance in the Snipers net.

Mikhailov scored a hat trick and Cloutier kicked out 16 shots to post the shutout as the Blazers completed the sweep with a 9-0 win on Sunday.

Mikhailov lit the lamp twice in the second period as OKC scored four times to open up a commanding 6-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Manny Legace had a busy night in the Dallas net, making 41 saves.


Express post sweep in Wichita, remain strong third in Mid-Western Division

11.17.17 – Springfield 13, Wichita 0

11.18.17 – Springfield 12, Wichita 1

11.19.17 – Springfield 10, Wichita 0

The Wichita Jr. Thunder returned to the ice after a three-week hiatus as never got their legs going in a three-game sweep at the hands of the visiting Springfield Express.

Friday’s game was a 13-0 rout for Springfield.  Vegard Faret scored four goals, Filimon Ledenkov collected six points (1-5-6) and Nikita Sokov had five (1-4-5).

Connor Green went the distance in the Jr. Thunder net, making 52 saves.

The Express won again, 12-1, on Saturday.  Nikita Sokov (3-3-6) figured in half of the Springfield goals and Filimon Ledenkov (2-2-4), Stephane Doering and Michael Polito all chipped in with two-goal games.

Austin Tilton stepped into the Wichita crease and made 55 saves.  Braeden Thomas scored 5:53 into the game for the Jr. Thunder, tying the game, 1-1, at the time.

The Express came out hard again Sunday morning, out-shooting the Jr. Thunder, 29-2, in the first period.  They only scored twice in the frame, but scored five times in the second and spread the scoring around in a 10-0 win.

Nine different Springfield players lit the lamp including Arkhip Ledenkov, who scored twice, and Polito, who also collected three assists.

Brandon Kourt was in net for the Express, recording the shutout.


11.17.17 – Ogden 9, Casper 5

11.18.17 – Ogden 13, Casper 0

Jacob Laurin scored twice, Matus Spodniak dished out four assists and the Ogden Mustangs defeated the Casper Coyotes, 9-5, on Friday.

Jacob Elik and Dallen Neese each scored twice for Casper.

The Mustangs didn’t mess around on Saturday, taking a 6-0 lead into the third period and adding seven more goals for a 13-0 win.

Spodniak (3-3-6), Ross Bartlett (2-3-5) and Laurin (1-4-5) were the top offensive contributors for Ogden while the Coyotes made Daniel Pavlicko earn the shutout, peppering him with 31 shots – 19 of them in the second period alone.


RoughRiders post wins in Cheyenne, Superior

11.17.17 – Superior 11 @ Cheyenne 2

11.18.17 – Cheyenne 4 @ Superior 6

Wins have been hard to come by for the Cheyenne Stampede this season and, although they did not come up with one in their home-and-home series with the rival Superior RoughRiders, they put in a good effort in the second game playing on the road.

Nikita Sheberov scored two goals and assisted on four others as the RoughRiders won 11-2 in Cheyenne on Friday.

Robbie Hufnagel made 54 saves – 24 in the third period alone – for the Stampede.

Saturday night in Superior, the ‘Riders had a 3-0 lead after the first period, but the Stampede made them work for the two points.

It was 4-1 RoughRiders after 40 minutes, but Logan Syrup scored three times for Cheyenne with George Leech assisting on all three.

Damon Theara scored the other goal for the Stampede and Daniel Miller stopped 19 of 21 shots in the third period to give Cheyenne a shot at making a comeback, even if they did come up short.  Miller finished the contest with 41 saves in all.

Sheberov notched a hat trick for the RoughRiders, with an assist thrown in for good measure, and linemate Thore Weyrauch scored twice and added a helper of his own. 

Superior’s Marshall Murphy stopped 17 of 18 shots through the first two periods and ended the game with 24 saves.


Icemen get back on track with three narrow wins in Bellingham

11.17.17 – Tahoe 4, Bellingham 2

11.18.17 – Tahoe 4, Bellingham 3

11.19.17 – Tahoe 4, Bellingham 3

The offensive production for the Tahoe Icemen was consistent over the weekend, producing four goals in each of their three games against the Blazers in Bellingham.  They held the Blazers to fewer goals than that in each game, claiming all six points, and establishing themselves as the primary challenger to the Idaho IceCats in the Northwest Division standings.

The Icemen protected a one-goal lead for the second half of Friday’s game to set the tone for the weekend:  Strong play from Bellingham, but clutch play by the Icemen to pull out a victory.

Bellingham held a 2-1 lead after one period on goals from Jamahl Eakett and Stephen Smith.  Tahoe tied it early in the second on the power play.  Ilya Cetvertak tried a one-on-four attack that it didn’t work, but the loose puck was picked up by a trailing Paul Frys who’s initial attempt was stopped by Bellingham netminder Ed Coffey, but Frys was able to convert his own rebound to knot the score, 2-2.

Tahoe took a 3-2 lead at 10:26 of the second period.  Phil Heisse was the trigger man on the power play, driving a slap shot home from the point, and the next 29 minutes went by without another goal until Danylo Moroz deposited his second goal of the game into an empty net to ice a 4-2 win for Tahoe.

Saturday’s game was tight as well, as Bellingham came back from a 2-1 deficit to take a 3-2 lead midway through the second period.  At 8:18, an effective Bellingham forecheck spearheaded by Spencer Vockel worked the puck free along the left wing boards for Ilya Abubakirov, who looked like he was going to shoot as he moved into the slot, but he dished to Ruslan Novruzov who one-timed it and put the Blazers in front.

Frys tied the game later in the second period and then in the third period, with the score tied 3-3 and Tahoe on the power play, he had a shot blocked in the slot, corralled the puck as it headed to the left of Coffey, then fired a pass back across the slot to an open Heisse in the slot and he scored what proved to be the winning goal.

Frys (2-2-4) figured in all four Tahoe goals and the Icemen and Wade Conlan (36 saves) protected the one-goal lead for the final 13:19 of game time.

The competitive series continued on Sunday as both teams again held leads in the game.  With Bellingham pressing, down a goal with about two minutes left, Heisse picked up a loose puck behind the Tahoe net, skated it up the left side of the Tahoe zone to his blue line, then hit Frys in stride with a cross-ice pass as he skated through the neutral zone up the right wing.  Frys entered the Bellingham zone, and returned the pass to Heisse, who had skated like a demon straight to the Blazers net.  He made a quick move to his backhand and deposited the puck in the net for an all-important insurance goal for the Icemen, giving them a two-goal lead at 4-2.

The fourth goal again proved to be a big one.  Tahoe was nonchalant on an empty-net opportunity in the final 20 seconds and Bellingham ended up getting the puck back to the other end of the ice quickly where Novruzov scored with :02 left on the clock.  The Blazers ended up short a goal, 4-3.

The turning point was the second period where the Icemen out-scored the Blazers, 3-0, with Frys scoring twice.

Maximilian Haselbacher made 42 saves for Tahoe and Jake Holden had 32 stops for the Blazers


Rhinos survive challenge, collect six points in Colorado

11.17.17 – El Paso 4, Colorado 3

11.18.17 – El Paso 6, Colorado 0

11.19.17 – El Paso 4, Colorado 3 (OT)

In a much-anticipated series between two of the top teams in the league, the El Paso Rhinos made an argument that they are one of – if not the – team to beat heading into next month’s showcase by taking three games from the Jr. Eagles in Ft. Collins, CO.

The Jr. Eagles kept the Rhinos off the board in the first and third periods of Friday’s season opener, but El Paso lit the lamp four times in the middle frame and spent the last 6:55 of the game protecting a one-goal lead, winning the game 4-3.

El Paso trailed, 1-0, midway through the second period when they scored three quick goals to take a 3-1 lead:  Chaseton Sare, Ian McCollom, then Sare again found the net in a span of 1:59.

On an El Paso power play, Cole Richardson wristed the puck towards the Colorado net and Sare tipped it in as he skated in front of the net. 

Less than a minute later, Maximilian Kamper carried the puck on what was a two-on-three, but he pulled up and hit Ian McCollum as he went hard to the net, beating his man there and re-directing Kamper’s pass to give the Rhinos the lead.

Then, just over a minute later, Philip Pugliese, who assisted on three of the four El Paso goals, centered the puck to Sare and he made a quick move to beat two defenders and the Colorado goalie, tucking it in for his second of the game and chasing Colorado goaltender Hunter Bancroft.

Sylas Kaylan got Colorado back within a goal with 1:51 left in the period, but Austin Simpson retaliated just 25 seconds later to restore El Paso’s two-goal lead before the second intermission.

A goal from Colorado’s Joseph Roach at 13:05 of the third period made things interesting, but Filip Krasanovsky and the Rhinos made it hold up.  Krasanovsky made 10 of his 24 saves in the third period to preserve the victory.

Bancroft gave way to Braden Lajoie in the second period and both Colorado netminders recorded 24 saves.  Lajoie allowed just one goal on 25 shots.

On Saturday, Krasanovsky posted a 33 shutout and the Rhinos won, 6-0.

Timothy Heffner scored twice for El Paso, including the game-winner 8:07 into the contest.

The Jr. Eagles held a 3-1 lead late in Sunday’s game, but the Rhinos scored twice in the final 8:16 to tie the game, then won it in overtime.

3:47 into the four-on-four OT, Carlo Wittor carried the puck below the goal line, then backhanded a centering pass into the slot and defenseman Justin-Cole Dubecky stepped into a one-timer for the winning goal.

Sare scored two more goals and Krasanovsky made 32 saves for El Paso.

Colorado went back to Bancroft in net and he responded with a 50-save effort, but was unable to steal the win as the Rhinos out-shot the Jr. Eagles 22-5 in the third period.


Totems, Warriors split pair in West Sound

11.17.17 – Seattle 7, West Sound 6

11.18.17 – West Sound 11, Seattle 2

In another competitive Northwest Division series, the Seattle Totems and West Sound Warriors each picked up a regulation win in a two-game series at Bremerton Ice Center.

The Totems picked up a huge win on Friday, snapping an eight-game losing streak.  Seattle had built a 3-0 lead, but West Sound scored four unanswered goals in the second period to take the lead.

The Totems responded with four goals of their own in a span of 3:44 to turn a one-goal deficit into a three-goal lead.  Michael Shippee start off the scoring spree with a four-on-three wraparound goal for his second of the game that tied the score.

Daniel Nomerstad joined the rush on another four-on-three power play and deposited a pass from Tom Ignatovich to give the Totems the lead back, 5-4.

Next, Ignatovich took over as the trigger man, finishing off a give-and-go with Nikita Gordeev.  Ignatovich made a drop pass at the top of the left circle.  Gordeev gave it right back to him and Ignatovich chipped it up over Eisele’s right shoulder short side to make it 6-4 Seattle.

A West Sound timeout did not have the desired effect and the penalty trouble continued for the Warriors.  Seattle worked the puck around the zone on a five-on-three, eventually opening up a seam for a crisp pass by Goclan for the tap-in by Ignatovich.

The Warriors scored twice to make it a one-goal game again, the last one coming with 2:51 left in the game to make it interesting, but Garrett Wills (44 saves) and the Totems held on for a wild 7-6 win.

West Sound out-shot Seattle, 19-5, in the first period but trailed, 1-0, on Shippee’s first goal.

Ignatovich had two goals and two assists in the game and Ryan Brown collected four assists.

Erik Safstram (2-1-3) and Harri Kroll (1-2-3) each had three-point games for West Sound.

Kroll had a four-goal effort on Saturday, leading the Warriors to an 11-2 win.  Connor Wherrett also had a hat trick while Safstrom (1-5-6) and Samuel Pelech (0-5-5) each had five assists for West Sound.

Eisele was back between the pipes for the Warriors and handled 25 of 27 shots, allowing goals to Ignatovich and Stepan Jirovec.


Bombers survive latest challenge to their Western Division superiority

11.18.17 – Long Beach 5, Ontario 3

The level of competition in the Western Division continues to rachet up.  In their only game of the week the Western Division leaders, the Long Beach Bombers, scored the only two goals of the third period for a 5-3 win over the team that beat them in their last game – the Ontario Avalanche.

The Avalanche battled back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to tie the game, 3-3, after two periods.  Long Beach out-shot Ontario, 20-6, in the second period, but the Avs scored twice to tie the game.

There was a stretch of four-on-four hockey midway through the third period…

Skatteboe trip gave Ontario a power play with 6:10 left…just after they killed it, 17 carried the puck behind the Ontario net and his attempted centering pass hit Duffy (35 saves) in the back of the skate and ended up in the Avs’ net.

Miroslav Rohlik (1-3-4) figured in the first four Long Beach goals, including an assist on Skatteboe’s game-winner.  Tomas Urbanec had a pair of goals for Long Beach – each of them breaking a tie.

Bombers’ netminder Domenic Bosetti made 10 of his 22 saves in the third period.

The game continued a nine-game stretch against Valencia and Ontario…

--- compiled by Scott Harrington/Harrington Sports Media