Chris Relke

WHL recap: Giants finally slay Royals; Broncos, Blazers and Silvertips emerge with wins

Swift Current 6 Lethbridge 0

The Lethbridge Hurricanes (7-10-1-0) can surely wait until February second. That is when they next take on the Swift Current Broncos (13-3-1-0), who have proven to have their number. 

Saturday night the Broncos scored six goals against the Hurricanes yet again and are now 3-0 in their four-game season series, outscoring the ‘Canes 18-6. They shut out the visiting Hurricanes by a 6-0 score.

Tyler Steenbergen and Aleksi Heponiemi each potted four points and Logan Flodell notched his third shutout of the year and ninth of his career in the win.

Heponiemi got things going just 12 seconds in. He batted a cross-ice feed from Steenbergen past Lethbridge netminder Ralph Klassen.

Steenbergen then added a marker of his own with 4:59 left in the period. While on the power play, he got a Lethbridge defender down, to set up a screen and then wired a shot past Klassen.

Just 32 seconds later, Heponiemi sent Glenn Gawdin in on a breakaway on the power play and the Swift Current captain made it 3-0.

Gawdin then added another power play marker in the second and it was the greasy sort as Klassen stopped chances by both Steenbergen and Max Patterson before Gawdin found the loose puck in the crease.

In the third, Kaden Elder added a marker before Steenbergen scored his league-leading 26th goal of the year on a rebound to close out the game at 6-0 Broncos.

Flodell turned away all 36 Lethbridge shots he faced in the win.

The Broncos went 3/4 on the power play.

The Broncos next game is a duel with the East Division leading Moose Jaw Warriors at home on Tuesday.

The Hurricanes, who have now lost six straight, will try to get back on track with a five-game swing through the B.C. Division. It begins Friday in Kelowna.


Everett 4 @Prince George 0

Carter Hart reeled off his 20th career shutout Saturday night, stopping all 28 shots. He helped the Everett Silvertips (8-10-1-1) rebound from a shootout loss to the Prince George Cougars (6-9-2-2) on Friday, by just not allowing the Cougars to get any pucks in behind him.

Offensively, Kevin Davis, Matt Fonteyne and Riley Sutter all had a goal and an assist.

Fonteyne got things going by splitting the P.G. defense and driving the net. He was then able to sneak the puck under goalie Tavin Grant for his 10th goal of the season.

Davis aded a power play marker just 22 seconds into the second to set up the ‘Tips with a 2-0 lead.

Under nine minutes later, Sutter tapped home a slick pass off the stick of Brandson Hein. Sean Richards then closed out the scoring and chased Grant with his fourth goal in three games.

Grant turned away 27 of 31 in his 40 minutes of action, while Isaiah DiLaura stopped all five shots he saw.

P.G. heads down to Kamloops for a game on Wednesday, while Everett hosts Prince Albert on that same night.


Vancouver 4 Victoria 1

It won’t totally make up for the first four games they lost to the Victoria Royals (14-6-1-0) this year, but it still had to feel pretty sweet for the Vancouver Giants (7-8-2-2) to finally taste victory with a 4-1 win.

Goalie David Tendeck led the way for the Giants with 37 stops on 38 shots, while Ty Ronning and Dylan Plouffe each had three points.

Team-leading scorer Ronning notched his 17th already this season to open the scoring. He took a slick pass from Plouffe and was able to get enough on his shot to beat Royals goalie Griffen Outhouse.

Igor Martynov answered back with what would prove to be Victoria’s only goal on the night. Jared Legien found him alone in front and he found Tendeck’s five hole.

James Malm then scored in the second to stake the Giants to the lead once again. It came just as a power play ended.

Brad Morrison added a power play goal for some insurance and then Ronning potted his 18th into the empty net.

Outhouse turned away 23 of 26 in the loss.

The Giants will finish three games in three nights by hosting the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday.

The Royals will host the Red Deer Rebels on Tuesday.

Kamloops 4 @Seattle 2

The Kamloops Blazers (7-12) continue to get strong outings from their duo of young netminders. One night after 15-year-old Dylan Garand shut down the Red Deer Rebels, Max Palaga stymied the Seattle Thunderbirds (9-7-1-1), stopping 24 of 26 and leading the Blazers to a 4-2 road win.

Garrett Pilon had three assists to lead the way for Kamloops.

He got his first assist on the power play just 1:30 in. Nick Chyzowski tipped home a shot from Pilon to open the scoring.

Pilon then found Ondrej Vala and the latter’s point shot eluded Seattle goalie Liam Hughes.

Seattle surged back in the second period to tie the game up. First, Matthew Wedman looped around the Kamloops defense and found Blake Bargar at the back post. Then Nolan Volcan finally put away a rebound on the power play.

Quinn Brnjafield was able to answer back though with a dazzling goal. He cut around the Seattle defenders, then deked out Hughes, sliding the puck in for his fourth of the year.

Jermaine Loewen added an empty netter to finish off Seattle 4-2. Loewen has six goals in his last four games.

Hughes got the loss, stopping 28 of 30.

Seattle will try to get back on track at home with a game on Tuesday against Prince Albert. The Blazers will play hose to the P.G. Cougars on Wednesday, their next time out.

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