photo courtesy Marc Smith. Marc Smith

WHL recap: Halbgewachs’s late goal leads Warriors over Pats; Americans, Cougars, Blazers and Hitmen also post wins

Medicine Hat 4 @Calgary 2

The Calgary Hitmen (6-11-1-0) continue to drop close games. In their last five losses now, they have been tied or trailing by one in the third period.

That was the case again Friday night at home as the Medicine Hat Tigers (11-6) scored twice in the third period to overcome the Hitmen and take the game 4-2.

Mark Rassell scored twice and added an assist, while Jaeger White added two points and Jordan Hollett stopped 23 of 25.

Nich Schneider was solid for the Hitmen, despite the loss, stopping 26 of 30.

After some sustained pressure on the power play, Calgary finally got one past Medicine Hat goalie Jordan Hollett to open the scoring in the first. Andrei Grishakov wired a cross-ice pass to Jakob Stukel at the back door and he followed his own shot, sneaking the puck past Hollett.

The Tigers answered back with 59 seconds left in the first. David Quenneville fired a shot towards the net and Hayden Ostir tipped it on Calgary netminder Nick Schneider. Jaeger White found the rebound and just got it past Schneider for his first of the year.

The Hitmen took the lead over again in the second period as Luke Coleman finished off a rush up the ice with his fourth marker of the year.

Medicine Hat answered back with a nice looking goal off a counter-attack. James Hamblin found Mark Rassell on the rush and sent him in on the breakaway. The Tigers leading scorer made no mistake, burying a shot past Schneider for his 15th of the year.

Kristians Rubins would get the eventual game winner as he beat Schneider 2:30 into the third period. Rassell added some insurance with 55 seconds left to put the game away.

Both teams came in on two-game win streaks. Medicine Hat extends theirs to three now.

Beck Malenstyn is till out for Calgary for 3-to-5 weeks.

Josh Williams is out for the Tigers for 6-to-8 weeks.

The second game of their home-and-home weekend series goes tomorrow in Medicine Hat.

Moose Jaw 3 @Regina 2

The match up between the two teams many think will be duking it out for the East Division title this year, lived up to expectations as the Moose Jaw Warriors (13-4) and the Regina Pats (11-6-2-0) did battle.

They traded goals, showcased some potent-looking power plays, got some solid goaltending and were tied with under a minute left.

Then with 53 seconds left in regulation, Jayden Halbgewachs cut to the middle swiftly and wired a shot right past Tyler Brown’s glove. The speedy winger broke the hearts of the 6,484 fans in attendance and set up another, sure-to-be-entertaining game on Sunday in Moose Jaw.

Halbgewachs had two goals and Noah Gregor had two assists, while Brody Wilms stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced.

Moose Jaw opened the scoring on their fifth shot of the contest. Tate Popple won a battle on the side-boards and got the puck back to Jett Woo for a blast from the point. Tyler Brown made the stop but Tristyn DeRoose put away the rebound for his first goal as a Warrior.

Just 47 seconds into the second period, the Warriors doubled their lead. Noah Gregor drove into the Regina zone and found Jayden Halbgewachs breaking toward the net with the speed. Halbgewachs swooped around Brown and tucked a backhand shot past him for his 12th goal of the year. It came on the man advantage.

Regina stormed back on the next shift and cut their rival’s lead down to 2-1. Brian Lockner and Matt Bradley fired shots in succession towards the net and Bradley’s follow up of those chances just sneaked underneath Moose Jaw goalie Brody Wilms.

After Oleg Sosunov was whistled for interference, Regina swiftly tied things up on the power play. Josh Mahura, running the point, swung a pass over to Sam Steel and the Anaheim Ducks first round drilled a one-timer past Wilms for his fifth of the season.

Tyler Brown stopped 27 of 30 for Regina in the loss.

Brett Howden was ruled out  while Regina’s Josh Mahura played. Both were  hurt at CIBC Canada-Russia series Monday. The back end is a little banged up for the Warriors as Josh Brook and Dmitri Zaitsev are both still out week-to-week.

This was star forward Nick Henry’s first game played this season.

Kamloops 3 Red Deer 2

With Dylan Ferguson still away with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, 15-year-old Dylan Garand was given the opportunity to get his very first WHL start. He took advantage of the opportunity, stopping 31 of 33 and sparking the Kamloops Blazers (6-12) over the visiting Red Deer Rebels (8-10-1-0).

Offensively, Quinn Benjafield led the way for the Blazers with two assists, while Nick Chyzowski, Joe Gatenby and Jermain Loewen all scored.

Loewen actually got the scoring started with an uncharacteristic goal. A player known more for his willingness to go to the tough areas and earn goals, Loewen scored off the rush as he got in behind the Red Deer defense and found a gap between Red Deer goalie Ethan Anders’ pads. The goal was Loewen’s fifth in three games.

Jared Dmytriw answered back with a marker 3:58 into the second. Then, the Blazers got a power play goal from Joe Gatenby and an even strength one from Nick Chyzowski to go up 3-1 with 15:17 left.

Red Deer would get one more in the form of Kristian Reichel’s seventh of the year, but that would not be enough.

Anders turned away 29 of 32 in the Red Deer loss.

The Rebels have now dropped five straight. This begins the B.C. part of Red Deer’s seven-game road trip.


The Blazers will heads to Kent to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday. The next leg of Red Deer’s trip will see them go to Kelowna for a game Saturday.

Prince George 4 Everett 3 (SO)

The Prince George Cougars (6-8-2-2) would just not quit on Friday night. With the Everett Silvertips (7-10-1-1) taking two different two-goal leads, the Cougars stormed back and tied the game with 4:40 left in regulation. They would go on to win in the shootout, thanks to a successful attempt from Jared Bethune. 

Tavin Grant was stellar once again for the Cougars, stopping 22 of 25 and all three Everett chances in the circus.

Carter Hart turned away 20 of 23 in the Evrett loss.

The Silvertips got on the board first as Gianni Fairbrother got a shot through traffic off the face off past Prince George goalie Tavin Grant. Then with a similar recipe the “Tips cooked up another goal exactly six minutes later. Sean Richards got his stick on a shot from Patrick Bajkov, making it 2-0.

Kody McDonald answered back with a goal just 26 seconds into the second before Richards potted his second of the night to make it 3-1 Everett.

Jackson Leppard made the lead more surmountable with a marker with 2:33 left in the second.

Then, Jack Sander scored his first career WHL goal to tie the game and force extra time.

The Cougars had dropped three straight coming in.

This was the first of two straight in P.G. between the two.

Tri-City 4 @Seattle 0

Beck Warm picked a good time for his first career shutout. With 20-year-old starter Patrick Dea seemingly running away with the starting job for the Tri-City Americans (12-4-2-0), Warm put some doubt in the minds of the Americans coaches by stopping all 43 shots he faced, back-stopping his team to a 4-0 road win over the Seattle Thunderbirds (9-6-1-1).

With Dea turning away 107 of the last 113 shots he’s seen, Tri-City is now looking to have quite the tandem, after starting the year with some struggles between the pipes.

Nolan Volcan-Carson Focht (Brian Liesse)

Seattle was all over Warm in the first period, firing 18 shots his direction, but the 18-year-old goalie was up to the task.

His Ams then broke through with a goal on the power play, 12:56 in. Former Thunderbird Anthony Bishop fired a hard wrist shot towards Seattle goalie Matt Berlin and Nolan Yaremko tipped the puck past him.

Then, in the second, Tri-City added three more goals to give themselves a steep four-goal lead.

First, Carson Focht buried a back door feed from Michael Rasmussen. Then Dylan Coghlan jumped up into the play for two goals in a less-than two minute span. All three, second goals came within a 3:10 span.

Coghlan had three points on the night, while Rasmussen and Focht had two apiece.

Berlin turned away 22 of 26 in the loss for Seattle.

This was the first game back home after a successful road trip for Seattle. They took 11 of a possible 14 points on their seven-game trek. Tri-City has not lost in regulation since October 10th. Tri-City heads down I-5 to take on the Portland Winterhawks in a big U.S. Division clash Saturday. Seattle will host the Kamloops Blazers Saturday.

Goalie Carl Stankowski and d-man Aaron Hyman continue to be out for Seattle.

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