WSHL WRAP-UP; October 27-29, 2017

by Scott Harrington


OKC blazes past Dallas, remains undefeated

10.27.17 – Oklahoma City 13, Dallas 1

10.28.17 – Oklahoma City 7, Dallas 2

10.29.17 – Oklahoma City 5, Dallas 2

The Oklahoma City Blazers ran their streak to nine wins in a row to start the season and maintained a tie atop the Mid-West Division with El Paso, which boasts an identical 9-0-0 record.

Ivan Bondarenko scored three goals and Joshua Chamberlain and Dionne Demke each lit the lamp twice as the Blazers scored six times in the third period and pulled away for a 13-1 win on Friday night.

Oklahoma City’s Bobby Cloutier stopped nine of 10 shots, allowing only Jaroslav Vasicek’s goal late in the first period.

Patrick Tondl and Griffin Wieneck each had three assists for OKC while Bondarenko also had a pair of assists.

The Snipers hung around longer in Saturday’s game.  It was 1-0 OKC at the end of the first period, and Dallas stayed within two goals until Bondarenko’s tally at 13:54 of the second period made it 3-0 Blazers.

But Travis Hudek’s goal in the final minute of the period, and three more in the third for Oklahoma City, propelled them to a 7-2 win. 

Alex Hladonik put Dallas on the board at 10:42 of the third period and Dennis Berdnicks added the other goal for the Snipers.

Bondarenko and Wieneck each scored a pair of goals and Patrick Wiens made 35 saves for the Blazers.

Many teams that are out-played in a series wear down by Sunday, but the Snipers came up with their best effort in the third game.

Cloutier stopped all 17 shots he faced through the first two periods, but Oklahoma City was oly able to get of their own past Dallas netminder Brady Weiss – those off the sticks of Tondl and Bondarenko.

Vasicek and Marom Avraham scored goals four minutes apart to tie things up, 2-2, but Connor Dunn put the Blazers back in front at 9:58.  Travis Hudek’s tally with 5:53 left gave OKC a two-goal lead and Tondl’s second of the game a minute and a half later out the finishing touches on a 5-2 Blazers win.

Weiss made 32 of his 39 saves through the final two periods.


Icemen sweep Totems, maintain Northwest Division lead

10.27.17 – Tahoe 9, Seattle 3

10.28.17 – Tahoe 4, Seattle 2

10.29.17 – Tahoe 6, Seattle 2

The Tahoe Icemen are for real and look like Idaho’s main competition in the Northwest Division this year after a three-game sweep of another much-improved team – the Seattle Totems.

There was only one goal – that by Tahoe’s Danyil Alekseichuk – in the first 26:19 of Friday’s series opener despite the Icemen posting a 24-5 edge in shots on goal in the first period.  Seattle’s Naoki Onodera withstood the early barrage and gave the Totems a chance to find their game, but that didn’t happen and the floodgates eventually opened with six Tahoe goals in a span of 7:37 in the second period.  Alekseichuk capped the scoring burst with his second goal of the game.

Philip Heisse scored twice during Tahoe’s second-period flurry, and added the final goal of the game to complete the hat trick and make it a 9-3 final.

Maximilian Haselbacher made 27 saves in the Icemen crease, stopping all 11 shots he faced in the third period to quell any comeback thoughts Seattle may have had.

Onodera made 35 saves before he was replaced by Garrett Wills late in the second period.

Tahoe scored twice in the first period on Saturday night, Seattle scored twice to even it up in the second, then the Icemen scored two more in the third for a 4-2 win.

Owen Haas broke the ice just 2:46 into the contest, beating Wills (40 saves).  Mitch Webb added to it later in the period and the Icemen went into the first intermission up 2-0.

Seattle veterans Cam Gross and Mitch Hunt scored goals 2:25 apart midway through the second period to tie things up, but that was all the Totems could get past Tahoe netminder Thomas Spero.

Spero, who stopped all 12 shots he faced in the third period and finished the game with 29 saves, battled save-for-save with Wills right to the end of the game when Jackson Oleson scored the game-winner with exactly 1:00 left on the clock.  Nick Davidow added an empty-netter.

The Icemen scored three times in the third period to pull away for a 6-2 win on Sunday.

Oleson scored twice and Danylo Moroz had a goal and three assists for the Icemen.

Tahoe netminder Wade Conlan lost his shutout in the third period, but only allowed only two goals on 37 shots – both of them by Seattle’s Tom Ignatovich.


IceCats still the cream of the Northwest crop after sweep of Casper

10.27.17 – Idaho 5, Casper 0

10.28.17 – Idaho 8, Casper 2

10.29.17 – Idaho 9, Casper 1

The Idaho IceCats swept a three-game inter-division series from the Mountain Division’s Casper Coyotes.  The IceCats, who started their regular season later than every other team in the division, have yet to lose and are just two points behind the Tahoe Icemen, who have played six more games.

Shaun Brown needed just 10 saves to post the shutout, and five different Idaho skaters scored in the IceCats’s 5-0 win on Friday. 

Dylan Ossachuk was sharp in the Casper net, especially through the first two periods, where he stopped 27 of 29 shots.  He finished the game with 35 saves.

Anton Metelev scored the first goal of the game at 6:17 of the first period on the power play, and the Coyotes were still only trailing by two goals in the third period, but Blake Nelson’s goal at 5:58 gave the IceCats some breathing room.

On Saturday, Idaho scored four times in the second period to blow the game open, going on to win 8-2 behind two-goal games from Alex Piliya (2-2-4) and Jacob Hedencrona.  Tyler Matthews stopped 14 of 16 shots for the IceCats and Kevin Fellow (1-3-4) picked up four points.

The Casper goals came from Lindros Beard in the first period and Romaeo D’Intino in the second.

The IceCats took care of business on Sunday, scoring four times in the first period and cruising to a 9-1 win.  Lance Herning notched a hat trick and picked up a pair of assists for Idaho.

Terry Ryder (1-3-4) and Jacob Maynard each dished out three assists and Jacob Hough sopped eight of nine shots for Idaho.

Aaron Holenski scored the Casper goal and Brody Surette accumulated 32 penalty minutes for the Coyotes.


Rhinos roll over Sabers, stay undefeated

10.27.17 – El Paso 12, San Diego 0

10.28.17 – El Paso 12, San Diego 1

10.29.17 – El Paso 9, San Diego 1

The El Paso Rhinos kept pace with Oklahoma City in the Mid-West Division by sweeping the visiting San Diego Sabers in an inter-division series.

The Rhinos also eased into their regular season schedule, but look like they are getting up to speed.  They started the series off with a 12-0 win on Friday.  Hamish Campbell scored three goals for El Paso while Carlo Wittor and Jayden Ritchie tallied two apiece.  Chaseton Sare (1-5-6) and Austin Simpson (1-4-5) were distributing the puck all night.

El Paso’s Fiip Krasanovsky made 14 saves for the shutout.

Zach Hale made 29 saves in the first period and had 41 by the time he was replaced by Matt Soldano midway through the second period.

The Rhinos didn’t slow down in the second game on Saturday, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first period and rolling to a 12-1 win.

El Paso spread the scoring around as Austin Boyle was the only player to score twice.  Rhinos netminder Kayden Pickles stopped 14 of 15 shots.

Ondrej Imrich scored for San Diego.

Maximilian Kamper, Lukas Moravsky and John Erramouspe each scored twice in a 9-1 Rhinos win on Sunday.  Carlo Wittor and Cole Richardson each contributed three assists.


RoughRiders, Knights evenly-matched but Superior posts sweep

10.27.17 – Superior 5, Phoenix 4

10.28.17 – Superior 3, Phoenix 2 (OT)

10.29.17 – Superior 3, Phoenix 2 (OT)

The Phoenix Knights keep getting closer to a win each weekend, but they could not close any games out in Superior, dropping three straight one-goal decisions to the RoughRiders.  Saturday and Sunday’s games both went to overtime, meaning the Knights picked up their first two points in the standings even if they did not get a win.

Playing in front of their home crowd, Superior built a 3-0 lead after the first period Friday, and held another three-goal lead going into the third period, but had to withstand a Phoenix comeback attempt for a 5-4 win.

Dylan Steele scored two important goals for the RoughRiders.  The first broke the ice at 11:15 of the first period and the other came 20 seconds after Anthony Masonotti got the Knights within a goal late in the second.  Steele have Superior a 4-2 lead and Daniel Benilov added another to restore the RoughRiders’ three-goal advantage before the second intermission.

Masonatti and Kohl Hedquist each scored their second goal of the game in the third period, but L. J. Newell (22 saves) and the RoughRiders hung on for the win.

Cody Call made 24 saves for Phoenix.

Saturday’s game went to overtime.  The RoughRiders had taken one-goal leads in both the first and second periods only to see the Knights tie the game back up.

Superior out-shot Phoenix, 17-9, in a scoreless third period with Rhett Bruckner (35 saves) coming up with save after save for the Knights to get the game to overtime.  In OT, Superior’s Dylan Fitzgerald fired a beautiful pass from the bottom of the circle to the right of Bruckner to Jason Kelly streaking to the net for a tap-in, giving Superior a 3-2 win.

Marshall Murphy was between the pipes for the RoughRiders, making 19 of his 24 saves over the final two periods.

Superior won another 3-2 overtime game on Sunday.  This time it was Chase Taleghani providing the winning goal 3:46 into sudden death.  Daniel Benilov skated the puck around the Phoenix zone, finally driving to the net and creating a scramble for the loose puck.  Taleghani banged it home to give the RoughRiders their third one-goal win in as many days.

Bruckner tended the net for the Knights again and stopped 18 of 19 shots through the first two periods as Phoenix took a 2-1 lead into the third.  It looked like the Knights were going to pick up their first win of the season, but Nikita Sheberov forced overtime with his game-tying goal with 3:17 remaining.

The Knights out-shot the RoughRiders, 28-19, through the first 40 minutes, but Emanuel Hertel-Bauman posted 36 saves for Superior.  Bruckner finished the game with 24 saves for Phoenix.


Mustangs, Outliers both win at home to split series

10.27.17 – Utah 0 @ Ogden 4

10.28.17 – Ogden 1 @ Utah 3

The Ogden Mustangs and Utah Outliers split a home-and-home series with the home team winning each end.

Ross Bartlett scored twice and Oliver Marslatt made 12 of his 28 saves in the third period as the Mustangs won, 4-0, in Ogden on Friday.

The game was scoreless until Matus Spodniak put Ogden on the board at the 18:45 mark of the first period.

Bartlett scored his first goal of the game at 4:34 of the second period and Ian Currie followed it up just 13 seconds later to give Ogden a three-goal lead.

Dawson Rodin continued his strong play in net for the Outliers, making 36 saves.

Rodin was even more sharp on Saturday night in Salt Lake City, stopping 38 of 39 shots – including all 15 in the third period to preserve a 3-1 win for the Outliers.

Kane Toriumi scored twice for Utah:  the game-winner late in the second period, breaking a 1-1 tie, and an insurance goal early in the third.  Vladislav Buyanov assisted on both goals.

Brandon Krumpschmid scored the other Utah goal while Rhett Rampinelli scored the Mustangs goal.

Marslatt took the loss, allowing one goal in each period and finishing the game with 29 saves.


Blazers, Warriors renew spirited rivalry

10.27.17 – Bellingham 5 @ West Sound 4

10.28.17 – West Sound 5 @ Bellingham 7

The Bellingham Blazers and West Sound Warriors renewed their rivalry, which dates back to when both teams were in the NorPac league, with the Blazers coming up with a pair of narrow wins that brought the two teams even in the Northwest Division standings with eight points apiece.

Bellingham scored four times in the second period of a 5-4 win on Friday.  Andrew Gammel assisted on three of the four second-period tallies for the Blazers.

West Sound’s Erik Safstrom scored the only goal of the third period, getting the Warriors within a goal with 9:25 remaining, but Edward Coffey and the Blazers held on for the win.  Coffey (21 saves) did not start the game, coming on in relief of Bellingham’s starting goaltender Jake Holden early in the first period.

Robbie Eichelberger’s goal with 41 seconds left in the second period gave the Blazers a 5-3 lead and held up as the game-winner.  Eichelberger also picked up a pair of assists in the game.

Saturday’s game was another entertaining back-and-forth affair that went into the final minutes tied at five.  Ilya Abubakirov scored his third goal of the game on a beautiful wrap-around goal with 1:28 left in regulation to give Bellingham a 6-5 win.  He also collected a pair of assists in the game for five points.

With 18 seconds left in the second period, Michael Perez slid the puck hard along the ice from the left point towards the Bellingham net and Bryce Ebert angled his blade on his backhand to re-direct the puck over Holden’s shoulder to give the Warriors the lead, 5-4, going into the final period.

Six and a half minutes into the final frame, Gammel attacked the slot in the West Sound zone, drawing four defenders to him and making a backhand dish to Tommy Stevens.  Stevens deked to his forehand and beat Warriors netminder Nick Gary to tie the game at five, setting the stage for Abubakirov’s heroics.

Ruslan Novruzov added an empty-netter for a 7-5 final, giving him four points (2-2-4) on the night.


Express make statement with two wins in Ft. Collins

10.27.17 – Springfield 3, Colorado 2

10.28.17 – Colorado 7, Springfield 3

10.29.17 – Springfield 4, Colorado 2

Ft. Collins is not an easy place for visiting teams to win, but the Springfield Express of the Mid-West Division won two of three games from the Colorado Jr. Eagles on their home ice, tightening the top end of the Mid-West Division standings.  Colorado, meanwhile, missed an opportunity to move ahead of the Ogden Mustangs in the Mountain Division.  The two teams remain tied for first place.

This was a great inter-division series.

Filimon Ledenkov’s goal with 52 seconds left in regulation gave the Express a big 3-2 road victory on Friday night. 

The game was tied, 1-1 after one period, and 2-2 after two.  Springfield’s Kristof Dobos (28 saves) and Braden Lajoie (26 saves) of the Jr. Eagles matched each other save for save and, as the game wore on, it appeared the next goal might just be the winner. 

That was exactly how things played out with Ledenkov winning it in the final minute.

Arkhip Ledenkov scored the other two Springfield goals while Brady Kirkbride and Carter Dahl were the goal scorers for Colorado.

The Jr. Eagles rebounded with a 7-3 win on Saturday.  Anders Saarela scored twice in the second period as Colorado opened up a 4-1 lead. 

Dobos stopped 14 of 15 pucks sent his way in the first period, and ended the game with 43 saves, but he could not hold the Jr. Eagles at bay all night.

The Jr. Eagles went back to Lajoie and he made 28 saves to get the Jr. Eagles back in the win column.

Two times in the second period of Sunday’s series finale, Stephane Doerring broke a tie and gave Springfield a lead.  The first time Colorado’s Corey Richardson tied the game back up, but the Express led 3-2 after two periods and Springfield goaltender Brandon Kourt (42 saves) kept the Jr. Eagles off the board in the third period.  Filimon Ledenkov added an insurance goal with 5:23 remaining and Springfield won the game, 4-2, to take the series.

Lajoie made 26 saves for Colorado.


Bombers top Flyers in battle for Western Division supremacy

10.27.17 – Long Beach 3, Valencia 2

The top two teams in the Western Division went head-to-head in Long Beach on Friday night.

Frej McLoughlin and Miroslav Rohlik scored 50 second apart early in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and give the Bombers a two-goal lead.

A stretch pass from Anton Ahlin missed the mark and looked like it was going to be icing, but it was waved off and McLoughlin was the first one on the puck, snapping it past Valencia netminder Spencer Kozlowski to give the Bombers their first lead of the game.

Less than a minute later, Valencia bobbled a puck just inside the offensive blue line and Bombers forward Johnny Hoang took off down the ice with it, attacking the middle of the ice in the Flyers zone and dishing to Rohlik on the right wing.  He went up over Kozlowski’s glove and Long Beach led, 3-1.

Dylan San Augustin got the Flyers within a goal with 8:09 left in the game, but the Bombers protected the lead for the remainder of the game with help from veteran netminder Domenic Bosetti, who made 33 saves.

Nikita Pintusov scored the only goal of the first period to give the Flyers the lead.  Morgan Soderstrom of Long Beach had the only goal of the second period.

Kozlowski made 37 saves for the Flyers.


Avs challenge Long Beach, but Bombers prevail

10.28.17 – Long Beach 5, Ontario 3

Two things seem apparent after this weekend.  The Long Beach Bombers are still the team to beat in the Western Division – and both Valencia and Ontario can play with them.

The Avalanche led the Bombers, 3-2, going into the third period Saturday but got into penalty trouble, including a five-minute major.  Miroslav Rohlik scored a five-on-three goal to tie things up 2:03 into the period, then Fredrik Skatteboe added one less than a minute later as the power play continued for Long Beach.

Ontario pressed for the tying goal, but Domenic Bosetti (37 saves) was equal to the task for Long Beach, holding the Avs at bay until Tomas Urbanec could seal it with an empty-netter.

Five different players scored for the Bombers – three of them coming on the power play.

Ontario’s Jeremy Van Dyke scored two goals in the game, including an impressive tally where he out-raced every player on the ice to get to a puck dumped into the Long Beach end, and snuck a quick shot up over Bosetti’s shoulder from a severe angle.

--- compiled by Scott Harrington/Harrington Sports Media