WHL recap: Geekie’s hat-trick leads Americans over Tigers; Prince Albert and Swift Current notch wins

Prince Albert 3 Lethbridge 2

It was one of those nights where one team was going to get back on track after a couple close losses. This time it was the Prince Albert Raiders (13-13-5-2) who used two goals in the second period to take a 3-2 win over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes (14-15-2-0). 

The Raiders had dropped a tight affair the previous night to the Swift Current Broncos and played another one the following night. This time it was one of their veteran forwards that got a pass in front and deposited it into the net to break a tie in a hard fought game. Curtis Miske took a pass from Parker Kelly after some good puck movement and backhanded a shot in tight past Lethbridge goalie Klassen. That would stand as the difference and hand Lethbridge their third straight loss.

Ian Scot stopped 28 of 30 to get the win for Prince Albert, while Klassen turned away 29 of 32 for Lethbridge.

Jake Elmer had both goals for the ‘Canes in their defeat. He opened the scoring 4:52 as he got in behind the defense and cut to the net, tucking a backhand past Scott for his 10th this year.

The Raiders tied the game on Brett Leason’s fourth goal this year. He drove into the Lethbridge zone and picked a corner on Klassen.

P.A. then made it 2-1 with 6:45 left in the first off the stick of their leading scorer. Jordy Stallard was set up on the power play off a slick move at the blue line and backhand cross-ice feed from Brayden Pachal.

Elmer then tied things up midway through the second as he toe-dragged around two P.A. defenders and beat Scott, who had gone down to poke-check.

The eventual game winner came with just 20 seconds left in the second. Miske made a nice move to get himself the puck in space and score his 11th this year.

 

 

Swift Current 5 Kelowna 1

With the arms-race happening in the East Division, the Swift Current Broncos(24-7-2-0) could not let a five-game in six-night stretch, with some of those games seeing them down their two leading scorers, go south on them. They did just the opposite and thanks to a stellar run by team captain Glenn Gawdin and solid netminding from Logan Flodell, the team won four of the five, including four in-a-row.

Gawdin had two goals and two assists for a four-point night and Flodell stopped 37 of 38 as the Broncos took down the visiting Kelowna Rockets (18-11-2-1) 5-1.

Gawdin’s four point night extended his point streak to nine games, during which he has piled up 20 points. Flodell meanwhile has won three of the five games during the run and has only allowed one goal in each of them.

It helped the Broncos to face another team without some World Junior Championship hopefuls in the lineup. Kelowna is without Dillon Dube, Kole Lind and Cal Foote while they try and make Canada’s U-20 roster.

 

The Rockets again found themselves down a man a lot early, as they gave the Broncos three power plays in-a-row in the first and early second. Swift Current would score on one of them as Matteo Gennaro took a feed from Max Patterson the slot and one-timed a shot past Rockets goalie James Porter.

Gawdin then added one more goal in the first as Sahvan Khaira hit him with a no-look pass back door.

Three more goals to start the second would all but seal this one. First, Kaden Elder converted a forced turnover by Gennaro. Then, Patterson forced another turnover and flipped a slick backhand pass to Logan Barlage in the slot. It would be the 16-year-olds first WHL goal. Lastly, Khaira drove a shot towards the net that was redirected in by Gawdin.

Liam Kindree got a power play goal in the third to make it more respectable, but the damage was done.

The Rockets are now 1-3 on road trip. Swift Current now sits just four points back of Moose Jaw for first in the East.

Tri-City 6 @Medicine Hat 3

Two talented teams were both trying to find their game a little bit on Wednesday night at the Canalta Centre. Both the visiting Tri-City Americans (16-10-3-0) and the Medicine Hat Tigers (17-13-2-0) had each only won three of their last 10 games.

The Americans were starting their long road trip through the Central Division and were hoping that gettign away from the pressure at home would do the rick. That was just what happened Wednesday at least as Morgan Geekie netted a hat-trick and added an assist, to lead the Americans to a 6-3 win over the Tigers. Michael Rasmussen also had a pair of goals and Beck Warm stopped 24 of 27 in the road win.

Geekie had just 10 goals in 28 games coming in and had not scored since November 24th.

Rasmussen, meanwhile had five goals in his last three games, since returning from injury and his duo now gives him seven in a four-game span.

It was the Tri-City captain who opened the scoring as he tapped home a back door pass from Geekie on the power play 3:43 in.

Geekie then tabbed a goal of his own later in the frame. Nolan Yaremo and Carson Focht kept the puck alive and Geekie found it, beating Medicine Hat goalie Michael Bullion.

In the second, Isaac Johnson made it 3-0. He made an outside-inside move on Linus Nassen, undressing the defender and giving himself room to wire a shot past Bullion’s glove.

The Tigers finally got one back later in the second as David Quenneville sneaked a shot through traffic and past Warm.

Rasmussen got at it again though and reinstated the three-goal lead with 3:24 left in the middle frame. Juuso Vålimåki fired a low shot that Rasmussen deflected past Bullion for his second of the game and 16th in 20 games played.

Ryan Chyzowski gave the Tigers some life in the third after Tyler Preziuso picked off an Americans pass and tried a tuck a shot past Warm that the backstop disallowed. Chyzowski then found the rebound and buried it for his 11th this year.

Geekie would answer just 33 seconds later and pretty much seal the fact that the Tigers were about to lose their third straight. Anthony Bishop forced a turnover on the half-boards to the right of Bullion and found Geekie in front for the 5-2 lead.

James Hamblin made it 5-3 with 3:58 left, but Geekie finished the hat-trick and the game off with an empty netter with 27 seconds left.

Bullion stopped 22 of 27 in the Medicine Hat net.

 

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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.