The 2018-19 WSHL season switched into high gear as 21 teams played a total of 27 games in the first full week of competition across the league.
San Diego Sabers @ Valencia Flyers
San Diego 5, Valencia 4 (SO) - The Valencia Flyers tied the game with just over five minutes to play, but the San Diego Sabers rebounded to claim victory in a shootout over their hosts on Thursday night.
Under the WSHL's new three-point system, San Diego claims two points in the standings and Valencia one.
The Flyers had leads of 2-1 and 3-2, but second period goals from Jakub Vesely and Evgeny Tretyak gave San Diego the lead heading into the third period.
Eimantas Norieka's second goal of the game for the Flyers got Valencia even and the last 5:10 of regulation and the five-minute overtime went by without any additional scoring, setting the stage for the shootout where Vesely provided the decisive goal.
Marshall McKallip made 39 saves in the game - stopping 26 of 27 shots over the final two periods - to pick up the win for the Sabers.
Valencia's Mack Willy made 32 saves.
Ontario Avalanche @ Fresno Monsters
The Fresno Monsters took two of three games from the Ontario Avalanche at Selland Arena, scoring 21 goals in the process.
Fresno 11, Ontario 4 - The Monsters stormed out to a 5-0 lead in the first period and cruised to an 11-4 win in Thursday's series opener. Zack Turpin and Nikita Garin each posted hat tricks for Fresno and Dustin Tuex (1-3-4) had a four-point night.
Fresno only out-shot Ontario by a 38-37 margin but Max Karlenzig was a difference-maker for the Monsters, making 33 saves.
Four different skaters scored for Ontario and Aidan Harding made 13 of his 27 saves in the first period.
Ontario 4, Fresno 2 - Brett Ruiz broke a 1-1 tie with 1.1 seconds left in the second period, then added a second tally early in the third period to give the Avalanche a three-goal lead. They held on for a 4-2 win behind three points (2-1-3) for Ruiz and 25 saves for Connor Duffy.
Gustaf Wranghede and Martin Dlugolinsky scored the goals for Fresno.Fresno 8, Ontario 2 - Garin notched another hat trick Saturday night, sparking the Monsters to an 8-2 win. Petr Philoppov (1-4-5) and Truex (2-2-4) also had big nights and Karlenzig stopped 15 of 17 shots for Fresno.
Jeremy Van Dyke and Ruiz scored the Ontario goals and Avalanche netminder Kurt Yano made 33 saves.
San Diego Sabers @ Long Beach Bombers
Long Beach 7, San Diego 2 - Seven different Long Beach skaters found the net and veteran netminder Domenic Bosetti turned aside 18 of 20 shots as the Bombers defeated the San Diego Sabers, 7-2, on Friday.
Despite Long Beach carrying the play by a wide margin in the first period, the game was still tied, 1-1, early in the second. But Long Beach scored three goals in a span of 4:38 to open up a lead.
Will Daigneault, Tomas Urbanec and Tuan Thanh Hoang scored in rapid succession with Erik Ehrmantraut assisting on two of the three tallies.
Sabers netminder Alexsei Vereshchagin made 51 saves in the game, stopping 22 of 23 shots in the first period alone.
Steamboat Wranglers @ Utah Outliers
The Utah Outliers swept three games from the Steamboat Wranglers for the second week in a row - this time in Utah.
Utah 8, Steamboat 1 - The Steamboat Wranglers went into West Valley City and stayed with the Utah Outliers in their barn for about two and a half periods, but the floodgates opened in the third period. The Outliers scored six times in a span of 10:54 to win the game, 8-1.
Jan Dvorak, Matt Bartel and Zak Albers each scored twice for Utah and Outliers goalie Oscar Wahlgren turned aside 15 of 16 shots.
Jack Rousseau scored the goal for Steamboat, tying the game at the time, 1-1. The score stayed that way until Dvorak's first goal at 13:28 of the second period and the score remained 2-1 Utah until the 6:54 mark of the third period.
Jordan Belley made 62 saves for the Wranglers including 42 on 44 shots through two periods.
Utah 6, Steamboat 2 - The Outliers skated out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes on Saturday and cruised to a 6-2 win. Jake Papesh scored twice and Wahlgren stopped 11 of 12 shots over two periods of work to earn the "W".
Nicholas Ness (1-2-3) and Dvorak (0-3-3) each had three-point games for Utah.
Richard Kaye put the Wranglers on the board in the first minute of play in the second period, but it failed to ignite a Steamboat rally. Tristen Wells tallied the other goal for Steamboat.
Belly (21 saves) and Chayo Goodwin (18 saves) shared the net-minding duties for the Wranglers.
Utah 4, Steamboat 1 - Utah out-shot Steamboat, 44-17, in Sunday's series finale but a strong effort by Belley (40 saves) kept things close throughout. The Outliers completed the sweep, however, with a 4-1 win.
Four different players lit the lamp for Utah, including Benji Mickel, who tallied the game-winner.
Wahlgren was again sharp between the pipes for the Outliers, allowing just one goal on 17 shots.
Northern Colorado Eagles @ Ogden Mustangs
The Ogden Mustangs have assumed the pole position of the Mountain Division race in the early going. The Stangs ran their record to 7-0-0 with a three-game sweep of the visiting Northern Colorado Eagles.
Ogden 5, Northern Colorado 3 - The series opener on Friday was an outstanding game. The two teams entered the third period tied, 3-3, but the Mustangs came through in the clutch and won, 5-3.
The game-winning goal was scored 2:35 into the third period. Kerry Kruzel rifled a pass across the slot to Matthew Thielemann for the one-timer.
Northern Colorado had a power play late in the third period, and applied pressure in the final stages of the game, but Ogden and Artur Ogandzhanyan held the fort until Olivier Wieringa could salt the game away with an empty-net goal.
The Eagles led, 2-0, after the first period. Ogden finally go onto the board 3:08 into the second period on a beautiful one-timer by Harry Gulliver to finish off a two-on-one with Ian Currie.
1:18 later, Rhett Rampinelli wired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle to tie the game.
Ogandzhanyan stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period and finished the game with 24 saves. Marshall Murphy stopped 45 of 49 shots for the Eagles.
Ogden 7, Northern Colorado 3 - Ogandzhanyan stopped all 19 shots he faced through the first 40 minutes of Saturday's game and that allowed the Mustangs to build a 4-0 lead on their way to a 7-3 win.
The Eagles finally found their scoring touch but it was too little too late. The two teams traded three goals apiece in the third period for a 7-3 final.
Ian Currie scored twice for Ogden and added an assist. Ammon Anderson (1-2-3) also tallied three points for the Mustangs.
Northern Colorado's Mark Revniaga, Sean McMahon and Michael Petrotto lit the lamp in the final frame.
Ogandzhanyan finished with a total of 31 saves for Ogden.
Ogden 4, Northern Colorado 2 - The two teams saved the best for last as Sunday's series finale had an exciting finish.
Already skating 5-on-4, the Eagles pulled Murphy with 3:39 left, trailing 2-0, and Ogden almost immediately deposited an empty-net goal to make it 3-0. That appeared to put a stake in the Eagles heart, but Northern Colorado head coach Steve Haddon doubled down and pulled Murphy again.
This time it worked.
Nikita Sheberov picked up a loose puck in the left-wing corner, skated out into the left circle, and rifled a pass onto the tape of Zach Vanderwal who scooped it past a sprawling Ogandzhanyan, ruining his shutout with 2:48 left on the clock.
Northern Colorado iced the puck off the ensuing faceoff, so Haddon was unable to pull Murphy again, but the Eagles moved the puck quickly up the ice and buried another one with 2:29 left to get within a goal at 3-2.
The Eagles won the faceoff in their own end and fired it around the net and up the left side of their zone where Bradley Green collected the puck and skated it out. He fired a long pass the width of the neutral zone to Jacob Elik streaking up the right wing.
Elik skated in into the Ogden zone and beat Ogandzhanyan (40 saves) cleanly over the blocker.
When play resumed, Murphy (42 saves) started to head to the bench a third time, but had to quickly retreat to his crease where he stopped not one, but two, breakaways.
He finally made it off for an extra attacker in the final minute of play, and the Eagles had multiple scoring chances, but were not able to bury the game-tying goal.
The Mustangs' Lukas Vacin finally hit the empty net with 1.2 second left to bring an end to the crazy finish.
Oklahoma City Blazers @ Casper Bobcats
The Oklahoma City Blazers and Casper Bobcats both opened their 2018-19 seasons in a three-game series at Casper Ice Arena. The Host Bobcats played hard all weekend, and showed some flashes, but OKC showed they will again be a force to be reckoned with, posting the sweep.
Oklahoma City 6, Casper 1 - The Oklahoma City Blazers built a 3-0 lead in the first period and cruised to a 6-1 in on Friday night.
Daniel Baranek and Vitali Mikhailov hit the net 1:17 apart to give OKC a 2-0 lead in the first period. Henrik Overvall added a third tally for the Blazers late in the period and they rolled form there.
Casper 3, Oklahoma City 1 - Oscar Andersson put the Bobcats on the board 1:57 into Saturday's game, but that was the only puck that Casper could get past Xavier Garneau (26 saves) who backstopped the Blazers to a 3-1 win.
Andersson finished off a 2-on-1 break, accepting a pass from Florian Seelmann and snapping the puck up over a sprawling Garneau.
Later in the period, OKC went on the power play and scored to tie the game. The Blazers worked the puck crisply around the Casper zone and, eventually, Harri Kroll slid a pass to the top of the zone and Simon Martineau stepped into it, firing the puck through a crowd in front and tying the score.
The game remained knotted at one goal apiece almost all of the way through the second period, but Kroll scored with 41 seconds left in the period to give Oklahoma City their first lead of the game.
Jordan Sgro scored the only goal of the third period.
Bobcats goalie Ludvig Nordquist stopped 19 of 20 shots in the first period and finished the game with 44 saves.
Oklahoma City 8, Casper 4 - Vitali Mikhailov scored three goals and assisted on two more to lead the Blazers to an 8-4 win over the Bobcats on Sunday.
Casper scored twice in the first 3:11 of the game to jump out to a 2-0 lead, but Oklahoma City came to life and led, 4-3, by the end of the first period and was in control from that point forward.
The visitors out-shot their hosts, 28-9, in the third period alone. Louis Busch played the final period in the Casper net and handled 26 of the 28 shots to keep the final score respectable.
Tobias Thorner (1-3-4) also had a big offensive night for OKC.
Seattle Totems @ Southern Oregon Spartans
The Seattle Totems went into Southern Oregon and took a pair of close games from the Spartans in what was a very competitive two-game set.
Seattle 4, Southern Oregon 2 - Gabriel Sbop scored twice and Wyatt Monear kicked out 38 of 40 shots as the Seattle Totems picked up a big road win, 4-2, over the Southern Oregon Spartans in Medford, OR on Friday.
Sbop's first goal opened the scoring in the final minute of the first period. His second, at 12:37 of the second period, put the Totems up 2-1 and they would not relinquish the lead.
Zielinski skated the puck deep into the right corner and fired a centering pass that Sbop re-directed between his legs with his back to the net.
With the Totes on the power play, Denis Kozev moved the puck down to Michael Shippee to the left of Austin Johnson (29 saves) and Shippee rifled a pass across the crease to Sbop for the tap-in.
In a battle between two southpaw goaltenders, Monear got the win over Johnson.
Seattle 3, Southern Oregon 1 - The Totems posted another two-goal road win on Saturday night. Monear had another strong game, stopping 23 of 24 shots, and keeping the Spartans off the board for the first 54:24.
Seattle opened the scoring 9:15 into the contest with a power play goal. An Anders Larsen shot from the point banked in off teammate Dominik Cach, who was without a stick at the time, but it was a good goal.
The Totems added another power play goal in the second, this time on a two-man advantage. Larsen moved the puck from the point down to Shippee in the left circle and he beat Spartans netminder Jerimiah Clark clean with a pin-point wrist shot.
Linus Eriksson added a goal for Seattle just 1:19 into the third period, making it 3-0, and taking the wind out of the Spartans.
Clark made 22 saves for Southern Oregon. Austin Johnson came in to play the third period and stopped 14 of 15 shots.
Southern Oregon's Logan Emery ruined Monear's shutout bid with 5:36 left on the clock, but the Spartans were unable to launch a full-fledged comeback bid.
Dallas Snipers @ Cheyenne Stampede
Hockey fans in Cheyenne were treated to three entertaining hockey games over the weekend, unfortunately the home team was only able to collect one of a possible nine points against the visiting Dallas Snipers.
Dallas 5, Cheyenne 4 - Cheyenne Stampede allowed a third period lead to slip away and, despite a late surge, fell to the visiting Dallas Snipers, 5-4, Friday night at the Cheyenne Ice and Events Center.
The teams faced off to start the third period tied, 1-1, and right off the draw, Cheyenne's Jeremy Velazquez took the puck right down the slot and split the defense. Kyle Plantz made the initial save, but Velazquez scooped the puck off his pads and deposited it into the net to ignite the crowd and give the Stampede the lead.
However, later in the period atfer Dallas had tied the score, an Axel Orongan shot from the left wing deflected off the stick of a defender and knuckled over Juho Salmela's glove to give Dallas their first lead of the game.
The Snipers added a power play goal 1:15 later and the game started slipping away from the Stampede.
Velazquez and Bryan Watters scored to get the Stamps within a goal with 6:00 remaining in the game, but they were not able to get the equalizer past Plantz, who made 17 of his 47 saves in the third period.
Salmela made 21 saves for Cheyenne.
Dallas 6, Cheyenne 4 - Saturday's game again saw the Stampede trying to rally late in front of their fans.
Trailing 5-3 late in the game, the Stampede went on the power play and applied ample pressure. Watters moved it back to Hakan Salt at the point and his low wrist shot was tipped up into the corner of the net by Keegan Barker with 34 seconds left but an empty-net goal allowed the Snipers to escape with a 6-4 win.
Dallas 3, Cheyenne 2 (OT) - The tight series continued on Sunday with the closest game yet. The Stampede had leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but the Snipers evened the score each time, then won in overtime, 3-2.
Trailing 1-0 in the second period, the Snipers failed to convert on a 5-on-3 power play but, skating 4-on-4 shortly thereafter, won a faceoff in their own zone and moved the puck quickly up ice with a stretch pass.
Karsten Portell, a right-handed shot, broke down the left wing and beat Cheyenne's Brendan Carew (39 saves) with a low wrist shot from the left circle.
Just 1:19 later, Ben Gloe's second goal of the game gave Cheyenne its second lead of the night, but Dallas responded just 29 seconds later.
The Stamps were having trouble getting the handle on the puck high in the offensive zone. Gloe just wheeled and wristed the puck on net from 45 feet out and it surprised Alexander Aleshkin (43 saves) to give Cheyenne a 2-1 lead.
But back came the Snipers. Jasa Jenko went forehand-backhand around a defender and backhanded a shot between Carew's pads to tie it right back up.
In the extra session, Dallas defenseman Simon Birkehorn skated the puck out from behind the Snipers net, evaded one forechecker, skated the length of the ice, protecting the puck as he moved around a defenseman in the left circle, got the puck back to his forehand and flicked the puck past Carew to win the game.
Under the WSHL's new three-point system, Dallas picks up two points and Cheyenne one.
Bellingham Blazers vs. West Sound Admirals
The Bellingham Blazers swept all nine points from the West Sound Warriors over the weekend, but the Warriors seemed to get stronger as the weekend progressed.
Bellingham 8, West Sound 3 - Timothy Prexler (3-2-5) and Veaceslav Pinin (2-2-4) led the charge as the Bellingham Blazers broke open a tight game early in the second period and rolled to an 8-3 win Friday over the visiting West Sound Admirals.
Bellingham's Avery Heath stopped 30 of 33 shots while Alex Olsson made 26 saves for the Admirals.
Bellingham 7, West Sound 0 - Bellingham scored six times in the first period to run away with Saturday's game. Prexler (2-2-4) and Christoffer Fogelberg had two goals apiece and Kolter Pawlick posted a 22-save shutout as the Blazers won, 7-0.
Bellingham broke the ice 4:14 into the game on a Kevin Kubanek goal then scored two more in the next 4:09. Prexler then scored his two goals 2:27 apart to make it 5-0.
Bellingham 2, West Sound 1 - Sunday's game was an excellent junior hockey contest.
The opening frame went by without any scoring, but Kubanek and Fogelberg scored second period goals to give the Blazers a 2-0 lead.
Oliwer Stensson put the Admirals on the board with 12:56 left in the third period, but Edward Coffey (18 saves) kept the off the rest of the way to secure the 2-1 win.
Noah Bird made 26 saves and took the tough-luck loss for the Ads.
Long Beach Bombers @ San Diego Sabers
Long Beach 8, San Diego 1 - A five-goal second period sparked the Long Beach Bombers to an 8-1 win over the Sabers in San Diego Saturday night.
The game was tied, 1-1, early in the second period but three goals in a span of 1:40 put the Bombers in the driver's seat. Diego Gluck started things off with his first of two goals in the game. Goals by Erik Sillerstrom and Eric Lovstrand followed close behind.
Long Beach goaltender Domenic Bosetti stopped 14 of 15 shots through two periods before giving way to Matthew Genter, who stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period.
Marshall McKallip made 47 saves for the Sabers, who's goal came from Isaiah Frankel in the second period.
Meadow Lake Mustangs @ Hinton Wildcats
Hinton 7, Meadow Lake 2 - The Hinton Wildcats hosted and won their first-ever WSHL game, defeating the Meadow Lake Mustangs, 7-2, on Friday night.
Meadow Lake scored 5:29 into the third period to get within a goal, but the Wildcats broke away with three goals in a span of 3:01.
Ryland Straus figured in five of the seven goal for Hinton, scoring a goal and collecting four assists.
Dmitri Buttazzoni scored twice for the Wildcats and Hinton netminder Justin Dupuis turned aside 26 of 28 shots to earn the win.
Mustangs goalie Noah Finlay made 59 saves in the game, kicking out 20 of 21 shots in the second period.
Cold Lake Wings @ Edson Aeros
Edson 8, Cold Lake 2 - Emil Johansson scored a hat trick and Liam Austin made 35 saves on 37 shots as the Edson Aeros defeated the Cold Lake Wings, 8-2, in their inaugural WSHL game.
Elias Rongione added a pair of goals for the Aeros and Kevin Lundin (1-4-5) picked up five points.
Maxamilian Gaudet made 37 saves for the Wings, who's goals came courtesy of Anson Smith and Dorian Hall.
Cold Lake Wings @ Hinton Wildcats
Cold Lake 4, Hinton 3 – Ty Deleeuw scored his second goal of the game with 3:11 left in the third period to give the visiting Cold Lake Wings a 4-3 win over the Hinton Wildcats.
A clearing pass was intercepted by Ilias Okemow inside the Hinton blueline and he moved the puck to Deleeuw who took it down behind the Hinton net. He moved out and banked a sharp-angle shot off Wildcats goalie Kyle Franceschini and into the net for the game-winner.
Hinton led, 2-0, after the first period, but the Wings scored three goals in a span of 1:07 to take a 3-2 lead in the second. The Wildcats stopped the bleeding and eventually even the score back up, 3-3, before the end of the second period.
Shaun Peacock and Dimitri Buttazzoni scored in the first period for Hinton.
Cold Lake's Brendan Culbertson made 29 saves to edge Franceschini (33 saves) and pick up the win.
Meadow Lake Mustangs @ Edson Aeros
Edson 28, Meadow Lake 1 - Sebastian Heden (7-5-12) and Nathan Gottselig (7-4-11) led the scoring parade in an Edson rout on Saturday. Emil Johansson (3-6-9) and Coleman Mueller (3-3-6) also had hat tricks for the Aeros.
Brayden Gyurkovits played the first two periods for Edson and stopped 17 of 18 shots for the win.
Joseph Iron scored the Meadow Lake goal in the second period.
--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media
Written By: Jon McBride and Posted on: The Ogden Mustangs News