WHL recap: Americans knock Royals from ranks of unbeaten; Tigers and Wheat Kings win

Brandon 5 Edmonton 2

With Nolan Patrick already netting a goal in the NHL and looking the part of a professional hockey player, the Brandon Wheat Kings (5-2-0-1) better prepare for life without him. Life after Patrick does not look so bad so far. The Wheaties took out the Edmonton Oil Kings (3-5) 5-2 Wednesday night, giving them four victories in-a-row. Brandon has been led in Patrick’s absence by a balanced attack and that was the case again tonight.

Stelio Mattheos potted a goal and added an assist, Ty Lewis had three assists and Kale Clague had two more points to lead the Manitoba-based club to victory.

Connor Guttenberg opened the scoring for Brandon 8:26 into the game. Baron Thompson filed a pass right to Guttenberg in tight on Edmonton goalie Josh Dechaine and he stick handled around the netminder’s left pad to out the puck in. The assist was Thompson’s third point in two games.

Brandon doubled their lead just over three minutes later as Dechaine tried an awkward backhand, bank pass behind himself and it came right to Brandon’s Jonny Hooker. The 16-year-old quickly found Caiden Daley in front for the goal. Hooke already has four points in his rookie campaign.

Things would not get any easier for Dechaine as Clague, Lewis and Matthoes played a three-man game on the power play up top and Mattheos powered a slap shot past the hapless Oil Kings back stop.

Before the first was over, though the Oil Kings responded and cut the Brandon lead to two. Try Fix-Wolansky worked the puck down behind the puck for Tomas Soustal and the overage import quickly put a pass right onto Ethan Cap’s stick in the slot. Cap filed one over Brandon goalie Logan Thompson for his first of the year.

Matthew Robertson tightened up the game in the second as his one-timer caught Thompson way out of position 2:17 into the frame.

Brandon responded after the Robertson goal though and they did it with their second power play goal of the game. Clague faked a shot and skated into some space just inside the left face off dot. He then flicked a wrist shot right past Dechaine for his sixth goal of the year.

Gunnar Wegleitner put the game away with his fourth of the year. It came with 8:43 left in the game.

Thompson turned away 19 of 21 for Brandon, while Dechaine gave up five goals on 34 shot attempts.

Brandon went 2/7 on the man advantage while Edmonton failed to capitalize on their five chances.

 

Medicine Hat 5 Everett 4

An early season, long road trip can be a really positive thing for a team. Sometimes young teams come together with the extended time together that a long trek forces on you. These tighter nit teams can start rolling on these trips and use this run to drive them for the rest of the season. Suffice it to say, that is something the Everett Silvertips (3-6) are still holding out hope for on their current nine-game trip.

After starting out the trip with a thrilling shootout win over Kelowna, they suffered two late-game losses to Tri-City and Spokane and have gone onto a 2-5 record so far. They still have games left in Lethbridge and Cranbrook and so still have an opportunity to rebound going into a three-game home stand.

The Medicine Hat Tigers (4-3) were all over Everett early, chasing starting goalie Kyle Dumba before the game was three minutes old. Everett would respond, but never fully be able to keep up with Medicine Hat, en route to a 5-4 loss.

Mark Rassell scored twice and Gary Haden and Henry Rybinski each had two assists as the Tigers re-assumed the top spot in the Central Division.

David Quenneville was the first to solve Dumba as his seeing-eye wrist shot from the point befuddled the 19-year-old netminder. Just 2:02 into the game the Tigers ended Dumba’s night as Haden found Dawson Heathcote on the rush and the Nanaimo, B.C. native notched his first career WHL goal.

After Dorrin Luding came in for Dumba, the Silvertips settled down. They buzzed all around Tigers goalie Michael Bullion, before overage center Matt Fonteyne chipped it past him. The goal came with 13 seconds left in the period.

Despite the limited remaining time, the Tigers added another goal. Ryan Chyzowski found Ryan Jevne in the slot, but instead of shooting, he deftly backhanded a pass right to a wide open Tyler Preziuso. Preziuso scored with just one second left in the period.

Patrick Bajkov cut the Tigers lead back to one on a power play 9:58 into the middle frame. He took a pass from Kevin Davis and keyed up a slap shot, which he blasted past a screened Bullion for his third of the year.

Medicine Hat got their two-goal lead back again as 2:29 later, Haden dug the puck out of the corner and found Rassell alone in the slot. The team’s leading scorer beat Luding for his seventh goal of the year.

Brandson Hein made it 4-3 just over a minute later as he tracked down a rebound and went around the net before sneaking a shot through an unprepared Bullion.

Rassell notched his eighth of the year to make it 5-3 on the power play, early in the third period. Montan Onyebuchi would add a goal for Everett, but they would get no closer.

The ‘Tips now head to Lethbridge, while the Tigers host the Saskatoon Blades Friday.

Bullion stopped 30 of 34 while Luding gave up three goals on 31 shots.

Tri-City 5 @Victoria 4 (OT)

Dylan Coghlan had quite the summer. After earning an invite to the Vegas Golden Knights training camp, he got himself a contract before heading back to the Tri-City Americans (4-4). He can add Wednesday night as another one of those career highlights as he netted two goals, including the overtime winner and his squad handed the Victoria Royals (7-0-1-0) their first loss of the year.

Coghlan added an assist for a three point night while Jordan Topping also had three points and Michael Rasmussen and Morgan Geekie each had two.

Tri-City has made a habit of scoring the tying goal late and they did that again Wednesday night. Rasmussen scored with just 1:03 remaining, setting up Coghlan’s heroics.

Beck Warm turned away 23 of 27 for the Americans, while Griffen Outhouse stopped 41 of 46.

The Ams went 3/7 on the man advantage while the Royals scored on 2/5 chances.

Victoria heads to Spokane Friday, while Tri-City heads there to play the Chiefs Saturday.

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Brandon Rivers

Longtime Portland Winterhawks' blogger on hodgesheroes.blogspot.com. I also write for SB Nation on the for the Seattle Sin Bin at http://www.sonicsrising.com/seattle-sin-bin. Further, I have a Seattle-sports podcast over at 206sportsjocks.com Originally from the Portland area, now living in Seattle. Proud husband and Father.