Weekend Recap 10.07.19

las vegas thunderbirds vs. fresno monsters 

Las Vegas Thunderbirds 5, Fresno Monsters 1

 Scoresheet: To Be Generated. 

 The first game in Thunderbirds history could not have gone any better. The Monsters came in as the top-team in the West but were stymied by a really good Vegas side. Emil Svartbro had a hat-trick and Rhett Bruckner stopped 27 of 28 shots to back stop the team to its first win.

Two goals in the second and two goals in the third is what Vegas needed to peel away from the Monsters.

Svartbro extended the Vegas lead to 5-1 and scored his third goal at 4:23 of the third in their only power play goal of the night. The Thunderbirds were 1 for 4 on the man advantage and connected on their final attempt. Fresno’s only goal was also a special teams effort capitalized by Narek Aleksanyan at 14:05. The goal served as a response to Josh Williamson’s goal just four minutes into the third.   

The Monsters had a better third period as they weren’t able to crack the Vegas defense through the first two. The Thunderbirds scored four unanswered goals before the Monsters could muster up an effort. Owen Webster made it 3-0 at 9:14 of the second frame after Svartbro scored Vegas’ first and second goals of team history.

Svartbro opened the scoring with goals at 19:12 of the second and 2:37 of the first.

Las Vegas Thunderbirds 5, Fresno Monsters 2

The Monsters could only do one goal better in the second game of their series against the Thunderbirds. In a game where scoring was back-ended, Vegas again had built a four goal lead before the Monsters found twin.

Tomas Urbanec had two goals and one assist to lead all skaters including two short-handed goals for the former Bomber. Owen Webster and Emil Svartbro posted goals for the second consecutive night while Michael Nickolau saw his first start in net for Vegas. Narek Aleksanyan, Fresno, scored for the second night in a row.

Fresno was able to lock things down—at least in the second period—but three goals in the third proved to be the difference maker for Vegas who closed out perfectly. Turpin’s effort on the Power Play could do very little to inspire a comeback as it came with 20 seconds left in the game.

Joe Terrana completed the four-goal swing for the Thunderbirds at 5:49 of the third period and claimed his first goal of the season. His was the second goal of the third period after Tomas Urbanec lit the lamp for his second of the night at 8:48.

The Thunderbirds are the only expansion team to start their season with a sweep of a team coming off division finals.

Wichita Jr. Thunder vs. Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers

Wichita Jr. Thunder 1, Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers 6

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Dominc Loubert had three assists and Petr Pokorny had one goal and two assists to hand Wichita a rude home opener. The Thunder could not establish momentum to help extinguish the Jr. Blazers, rather, OKC got on the board twice in the first on goals by Lukas Narovec at 12:40 and Benjamin St. Onge at 8:44 of the first.

Wichita was able to capitalize on their second power play of the night after OKC’s Trent Sheldon was called for a roughing. Jr. Thunder standout Quinn O’Reilly scored his team’s lone goal at 4:56 while on the Sheldon penalty. The first period would end 2-1 and Wichita couldn’t find the spark they needed from O’Reilly’s goal.

Instead, they were assessed a penalty to open the second period and set-up Brigham Neuhold, at 18:20, for his first career goal in the WSHL. Three more goals would highlight the end of the second and the majority of the third frame. Andrei Vasile made it 4-1 at 4:21 of the second period while Pokorny and John Stevens closed the scoring.

Wichita Jr. Thunder 3, Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers 9

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Game 2 of the series was even more far apart as OKC showed up twice as hard. Dominc Loubert (1G-3A) and Petr Pokorny (1G-2A) had another multi-point night and a total of 11 Jr. Blazers found points.

Benjamin St. Onge (2G-1A), Tadeas Aulehla (3A), Andrei Vasile (1G-1A), and Trent Sheldon (2A) all had multiple points in the winning effort. Danick Francoeur earned his first win in net for OKC.

Wichita was vastly out-skated by the end of the first period and found themselves down 4-0 to start the second period.  They were able to get on the board by the midway point of the game with a goal by Michael Power. The goal didn’t find Wichita with any urgency and the Jr. Blazers were able to respond with three more goals by the end of the second period.

Five goals were exchanged in the third period. Vasile made it 7-1 barely a minute into the final period. Wichita’s finest moment was between 12:10 and 9:52 when they were able to score twice. Although the game was already lost, it should have promoted confidence in the Jr. Thunder to know they can get multiple goals in quick succession against a top team.

Wichita Jr. Thunder 4, Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers 6

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An improved Jr. Thunder side made for an exciting end to the series at Wichita Ice Center. Although Wichita ultimately suffered the sweep, they learned from their first two games and prompted a much more competitive Game 3.

Brigham Neuhold (3G-3A) led both teams with six points and a hat-trick while Benjamin St. Onge had five helpers. Dominc Loubert enjoyed a third consecutive night with multiple points. Joel Svensson improves his record to two wins after making 23 saves.

Neuhold found the game-winner at 10:59 of the third period after Matej Hajek leveled the score at 4-4. 

Wichita had gone on top 4-3 thanks to a spree of three goals that began late in the first and ended with Power’s tally at 12:40 of the second. Unlike the first two games, the Thunder didn’t lose their focus when behind. They had to earn their own lead after erasing Oklahoma’s 3-1 lead. They completed the comeback but weren’t able to expand on it nor hold on until the final whistle.

The Blazers ignited the scoring as they did in the first two games, but, Wichita kept coming. Pokorny’s only goal made it 3-1 for Oklahoma at 5:33 of the opening frame to follow up Neuhold’s first.

Barrhead Bombers vs. Cold Lake Hornets

Barrhead Bombers 9, Cold Lake Hornets 2

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The Bombers continue their winning ways in the regular season and showed up to an explosive first victory. A total of nine players contributed with points including Oleksandr Davydenko (1G-4A), Carter Zawortny (2G-2A), Serhii Poimanov (2G-2A) and Kierun White (3A) with at least three points.

The Hornets were scoring their second goal by the time Barrhead found their eighth of the night. There was very little room for Cold Lake to commit error as they were skating with a depleted bench. Fatigue was a factor in the series, but, the Bombers took advantage to secure an opening night victory.

Austin Smith led the Hornets with one goal and one assist leaving Cole Daniels with their second tally of the night. Early in the second, Barrhead strung together five unanswered goals to bury the Hornets from any chance of a comeback. 

Barrhead Bombers 10, Cold Lake Hornets 2

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It was another night of agony for the Hornets who could not surpass the two-goal mark from the night before. Barrhead added one more goal to their original tally from Friday and had 10 skaters with contribution.

Dmitro Kobylynk (3G-3A), Austin Strathdee (3G-1A) and Daniil Kashevko (3A) each had at least three points.

Cold Lake was able to put up 30 shots despite having a depleted bench leaving room for improvement if fatigue wasn’t such a big factor. They were able to double their shot count from 15 on Friday.

The Hornets couldn’t find an answer to the relentless Bomber offense that scored seven straight goals by the start of the third period. Anson Smith had the only two goals for the Hornets finding the back of the net at 18:32 5:17 of the third period.

Northern Colorado Eagles vs. Utah Outliers

Northern Colorado Eagles 4, Utah Outliers 0

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The Northern Colorado Eagles had the only shutout victory on Friday and it was a good first step in showing why they deserve to be hosts of the Thorne Cup.

One goal in the first and three goals in the second was enough to subdue an eager Outliers group that itched for the back of the net. A total of 10 Eagles found points in the game with Jacob Elik leading with two assists. Goaltender Marshall Murphy earned his first shutout of the year stopping all 32 shots he faced.

Elik and Hildebrand added insurance goals in the last two minutes of the second period. Although there was en entire third frame to go, the Eagles tightened up their defense not allowing Utah’s puck possession game to ever really set in.

Tyler Trombly improved the scoreline to 2-0 at 17:00 of the second period and Devin Power had the first goal of the game at 12:31 of the first.

Northern Colorado Eagles 4, Utah Outliers 3

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Utah was able to get on the board this time and pushed the Greeley fans to the edge of their seats. The three goals could not get them past Northern Colorado who replicated another four goals.

Jacob Elik (2A) and Jeremy Landers Jr. (1G-1A) each had two points for the Eagles. On the other side, Joshua Harrell (2G), Ben Doherty(2A), and Austin Heinrich (2A) all had two points for Utah.

Coincidental penalties in the final minutes of the game had both teams skating four aside. Liam Emery brought the game within one as he scored with 50-seconds remaining making for a thriller of a finish. The Outliers never held a lead but were always within punching distance of evening the game. Minutes before Emery’s goal, Kaden Whaley gave the Eagles a two goal lead (4-2).

Jakub Lelek had also narrowed the gap to one goal when he made it 3-2 at 12:52 of the third. The final frame featured back and forth action with both teams scoring goals. Northern Colorado had their first two goal lead of the night to start the third frame on a goal by Liam Emery.

They say the 2-0 lead is one of the more deceitful ones but the Eagles did a nice job in not coughing up the lead, though they were close. For the first attempt out of three, Utah pulled within one goal at 15:39 of the first period after the Eagles established the 2-0.

Northern Colorado Eagles 1, Utah Outliers 5

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It was a totally different Outliers crew for Game 3 who turned heads and kept the Ice Haus quiet. Nine skaters found points and Oscar Wahlgren secured his first win of the season. The Outliers did good in stealing a road win and saved themselves the sweep.

It was a stalemate for a greater portion of the game until Utah exploded with four goals in the third. Dawson Armstrong netted the game-winner at 16:20 and the series trend would indicate an Eagles response. It did not play out that way as the Outliers continued to pour it on with a third, fourth and fifth goal—Helvis Rudzajs, Joshua Harrell, and Alex Charin respectively.

Charin’s goal at 3:43 of the third was the only power play goal of the game.

West Sound Admirals vs. Bellingham Blazers

West Sound Admirals 2 vs. Bellingham Blazers 5 

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A scoreless first period looked good for West Sound who survived after only making four shots in the opening frame. The Blazers skated with some urgency to begin the middle frame and it paid off as they were able to find their scoring touch.

Seth Hebert and Ethan Dunnett both scored two goals and Milo Schneidmiller had one goal and one assist for Bellingham.

Hebert scored twice in the first half of the second period at 18:39 and 14:53 to go up 2-0. The Blazers continued to four straight goals in the third with tucks from Schniedmiller at 12:02 and Dunnett at 9:34.

West Sound was finally able to find that elusive first goal by Sarp Demirezen at 4:39, and then inched forward with a second goal by Dalton Chaney with 16 seconds left on the clock.

West Sound Admirals 2, Bellingham Blazers 10

 Scoresheet to be generated

Ogden Mustangs vs. Ontario Avalanche

Ogden Mustangs 7, Ontario Avalanche 3

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These teams met for the first time ever and the Ogden Mustangs delivered the result that was expected.

Shane Gilbert (1G-4A), Caleb Dolman (1G-3A), and Gleb Krivoshapkin (2G-1A) all had multiple points for Ogden and Randy Smith (2G) led all Ontario skaters. 

 The Mustangs did, however, have to wait until the second period to break the seal—something that wasn’t expected. Ontario stood firm but the heavy Ogden style of play took its toll until finally, in the second, they found two quick goals at 2:49 and 2:21 from Bobby Mckinley and Krivoshapkin.

Krivoshapkin and Dolman kept it going for Ogden increasing their lead to 4-0 before the Avalanche could find their first. Smith’s first goal for Ontario was unassisted and registered at 11:28 of the third on a short-handed effort.  The Mustangs had an answer for everything and never truly took their foot off the gas. The goal by Ontario did little in swinging the momentum and actually fueled Ogden to two more goals making it 6-1.

Charles Riordon took one back for the Avalanche at 9:56 just before Smith could make it 6-3 at 8:58 of the third.

Former Bomber goaltender, Matthew Genter, earned his first victory as an Ogden Mustang making 15 out of 18 saves.

Ogden Mustangs 8, Ontario Avalanche 0

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 The Ogden Mustangs were one of two teams to have a shutout victory on Saturday. The Mustangs skated with ease against a visiting Ontario Avalanche who couldn’t improve on their three goals from Friday.

12 different Mustangs registered points and the concerted effort was more than enough to deter Ontario from generating anything. The Ogden defense worked tremendously to keep goalie Mason Palmer from doing much work. Palmer only faced six shots in the first, two in the second and four in the third for a total of 12 shots.

Johan Zollner (2G-1A), Gleb Shlyaiger (2G), Zach Pires (1G-1A), Bobby Mckinley (2A), Diego Contreras (2A), and Cannon Rogers (2A) all had multiple points.

Ogden Mustangs 8, Ontario Avalanche 0

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 The only Sunday shutout goes to the Ogden Mustangs who again defeated the Ontario Avalanche by a significant shutout margin. Ogden matched their eight goals from Saturday and a third goalie, Titan Anderson, secured their first win of the season.

Oliver Wieringa led with a hat-trick and nine other players scored points to ensure the sweep.

It was the third consecutive night that Ontario found themselves struggling to make shots. It could be the Olympic ice sheet that posses problems for most teams but it’s probably the sturdiness of Ogden’s defense that has yet to be truly tested in three games.

Ogden scored at least two goals in each period with Wieringa making his hat-trick on their final three goals of the game.

Edson Aeros vs. Hinton Timberwolves

Edson Aeros 6, Hinton Timberwolves 3

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 The top team in the Provincial Division was able to get the start they wanted at least in this game. A total of 14 players had points in Game 1 of the two game series.

Artur Chirkov led all Edson players with two goals and one assist and Filip Myrskog made 43 out of 46 shots.

The Timberwolves started the scoring on a goal by Mario De Capite at 2:32 of the opening frame. The strong start for Hinton didn’t last very long as Edson picked up the pace with five goals in the second period to get themselves in the ideal position going into the third.

Former Bellingham Blazers standout, Jamahl Eakett scored his first goal as a member of Hinton at 14:20 and was the first goal of the third period.

Edson Aeros 1, Hinton Timberwolves 5  

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 The Timberwolves turned things around in the second game of the home-and-home series. Unlike the start of last season, Edson didn’t have to wait much to see their first loss. This sets up the division to be very interesting in 2019-2020.

Jamahl Eakett (1G-2A), Dimitri Buttazzoni (2G), Brendan Auger (2G-1A), Dorian Hall (2A), and Ilya Zhilinsky (2A) all scored at least two points.

This time at the Murray Rec Center, the Aeros were the ones to open the scoring on a Kevin Lundin tally at 10:52 of the first. And just like Hinton who scored first in Game 1, Edson’s magic was exhausted after one tally.

Eakett tied the game at 6:53 of the second and Buttazzoni scored the game-winner shortly thereafter at 6:30.

The Timberwolves sniped five straight goals to ground the Aeros and split the series.

Dallas Snipers vs. El Paso Rhinos

Dallas Snipers 1, El Paso Rhinos 2(SO) 

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 Dallas Snipers said they no longer want to be an overlooked team in the league and want to turn the page to contender status. Well, there is no sure fire way of testing your mettle than with a three game series against the defending back-to-back champions.

The last time Dallas played El Paso, the Rhinos reached double digits in goals. This time around, it took until the shootout for El Paso to yell victory.

Sam Sykes was one of the heroes for El Paso as he scored the only regulation goal for El Paso at 18:48 of the first. Aleksey Syrotenko leveled the match with seconds left in the first period and rendered the game to a deadlock. Niklas Froden was the ultimate hero scoring the only other goal in the fourth round of the shootout.  

Despite the loss, Alexander Aleshkin made 41 saves. Sawyer Schmidt earned his first win with El Paso stopping 29.

Dallas Snipers 0, El Paso Rhinos 2

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 El Paso was one of two teams to earn a shutout victory on Saturday. It only required 60-minutes for the Rhinos to hold on to this closely contested game.

Sam Sykes and Luke Perry had the goals for El Paso that came at 12:23 and 18:11 of the first and second period respectively. Oliver Soovik was in net for the Rhinos and he earned his first victory and shutout of the season.

The score line and shot count (46 ELP-24 DAL) will indicate that Dallas’ defense is glistening as only two goals got past them despite being in their own zone for most of the game. But that is not the way Dallas will earn wins against a very important rival in their division. 

Dallas Snipers 1, El Paso Rhinos 4

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 El Paso completed the sweep of their in-state rival Dallas Snipers. The three road wins are good enough to place the Rhinos second in the Midwest.

Niklas Ornmarker (2G) led all skaters and Oliver Soovik won his second game of the year with 16 saves. It is worth noting that Albin Klockare made 58 saves.

The Snipers didn’t find the back of the net until the final 3 minutes of the game with Todd Thompson sinking one at 2:25 of the third. El Paso had three goals of their own in the third period and hadn’t scored since Axel Sodergram lit the lamp just 30 seconds into the game.

Their three goals in the third overshadowed the performance that Klockare had as he was able to keep the Rhinos off the scoreboard for so long in hopes of a Snipers surge. The spark never came from his saves, however, and Dallas couldn’t generate enough shots to even get a bounce.    

San Diego Sabers vs. Valencia Flyers

San Diego Sabers 4, Valencia Flyers 5 (OT)

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 The only single game matchup of the weekend was in the Western Division between two very familiar sides. A heart wrenching overtime finish at the Escondido Ice-Plex gave Valencia their first win of the season.